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Union investigates fatal ink factory accident

Friday, 08 December 2017
By Print21

The DIC plant at Auburn yesterday.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) will conduct an onsite investigation into yesterday’s fatal accident at DIC Australia’s ink factory in Sydney that left one worker dead and two injured.

Police and emergency services were called to the factory in Chisholm Road, Auburn just before 9am after reports that three men were trapped in a large ink vat that measured between five and eight metres high.

The workers were cleaning the vat when the accident happened.

“I believe there’s a mixing blade and that’s what they’ve become trapped on,” NSW Ambulance Superintendent Paul Turner told Fairfax Media.

Two men were rescued, one suffering multiple leg fractures. The third man died at the scene and his body was removed several hours later. 

The AMWU said the DIC plant was a union site and one of the three workers was an AMWU member. The union had not been able to confirm the identity of the deceased man.

“It’s been a terrible day, really awful,” said a spokesperson at the union’s Sydney office. “We believe one member of the union was involved in the accident and the other two were long-term contractors.

“We have not been able to access the site because of the police investigation but union officials will be on site as soon as possible to talk to management and to our members. We’ll conduct a full investigation to find out what happened.”

AMWU officials arrived on site at 6am this morning to address workers, who went home afterwards; the union’s investigation is ongoing. “Everyone was pretty shaken up afterwards, including the management, and they’re now undergoing trauma counselling. It’s been a devastating experience,” said Vanessa Seagrove, NSW print secretary, AMWU.

DIC Australia could not be contacted for comment.

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