Mint faces $3.5m fine over coin press fall

By Shannon Jenkins

Monday May 24, 2021

Worker in the process building of the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra.
Worker in the process building of the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra. (Image: Adobe/Rafael Ben-Ari)

The Royal Australian Mint could be fined up to $3.5 million for breaching federal work health and safety laws after a three-tonne coin press almost fell on a contractor.

Federal work safety regulator Comcare on Monday said the incident occurred in the basement of the Canberra-based Mint in May 2019.

“A contractor was moving the coin press with a forklift when the press became unbalanced and fell, narrowly missing a worker standing nearby,” it said in a statement.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has filed three charges in the ACT Magistrates Court alleging the Mint failed in its duties under the federal Work Health and Safety Act.

The Mint has been charged with two counts of failing to provide a safe system of work and a safe working environment, and one count of failing to provide the contractor with an adequate Safe Work Method Statement for the transportation of the coin press. The charges come with a maximum penalty of $1.5 million and $500,000 respectively.

The matter is listed for mention in the ACT Magistrates Court on June 24.


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