Bradken Resources has been fined $650,000 for failing to provide a safe plant, leading to the death of an employee at its Wodonga foundry in 2014.
Peter Watson was killed when a hot, 270-kilogram metal casting fell on top of him while he was operating a skid steer loader, using the bucket to knock out the casting from their sands moulds.
The company pleaded not guilty to the charge during a 10-day trial held at Wangaratta County Court in May, but was found guilty by the jury.
Judge Julie Condon handed down the financial punishment in Melbourne County Court on Wednesday.
"The consequences of the breach in this case were nothing less than catastrophic," she said.
"By its verdict, the jury clearly found that there was a risk to the health and safety of Bradken employees operating the skid steer loader during the knocking out process from the weight, heat and proximity of the castings (to the machine operator).
"The jury also clearly found that it was reasonably practicable for Bradken to reduce those risks by provide plant, such as a rock excavator, that did not put employees in such close proximity to the castings."
WorkSafe told the trial of the risk that employees operating the loader could suffer burns leading to serious injury or death and the company should have known, from previous similar incidents, that this could happen.
A victim impact statement from Mr Watson's widow Michelle was read to the court.
"She eloquently expresses the impact of the tragedy of Mr Watson's death and states that it is not an easy situation to lose a husband and father," Judge Condon said.
"She also states that her and his sons miss him so much, day and night, all of the time.
"His untimely absence has clearly left a significant gap in their family unit and she simply says 'without him our family cannot be the same anymore'."
She said her job as a judge was to sentence Bradken for the workplace safety breach, not for causing Mr Watson's death.
But the judge found that the consequences of the death of an employee were foreseeable.
The court heard Bradken had 11 prior convictions for safety-related offences.
"According to the prosecution, the number of priors indicate Bradken has struggled to comply with its occupational health and safety obligations," Judge Condon said.
"The skid steer loader has not been used for the knock out task since the incident in 2014."
She said since the incident, the company had gone beyond recommendations to improve safety at the foundry.
Bradken Resources issued a statement after the fine was handed down on Wednesday.
"Our thoughts remain with Peter and his family," the company stated.
"The safety of our people and our worksites is and always will be our highest priority.
"As a business, our people are our most important asset and we are committed to always improving our safety performance.
"We acknowledge today's result and will comply as required."
WorkSafe health and safety executive director Julie Nielsen said the incident was a tragic reminder of the catastrophic consequences that not having appropriate machinery and systems in place can have.
"Every family should expect that when their loved ones go off to work, their employer is doing their utmost to keep them safe," she said.
"This includes making sure they are using appropriate machinery and equipment and that measures are put in place to control risks as they are identified.
"WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute those employers who fail to do all that is reasonably possible to protect the health and safety of their workers."
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