A FIFO worker who took a loader to town after several beers is #2 in our dumb things people do at mine sites series.
We all know that there’s someone out there that we’ve worked with over the years who just does the dumbest things when it comes to maintaining safety on or off site. Fortunately, most people across the industry have some intellect when it comes to safe work practices, but there’s been a few who just do dumb stuff.
Back in March last year, 40 year old Victorian man Mark Bagley, was accused of stealing a loader from a mine site and lead police in a pursuit, travelling about 30kph, through the northern Goldfields town of Leonora.
ABC reported that Mr Bagley claimed during a trial in the Kalgoorlie Magistrate’s Court he never heard sirens or saw police lights because of the noise of the machine.
Witnesses to the incident in March 2017 said Bagley drove across both lanes of traffic with the machine’s bucket scraping the ground, causing more than $30,000 of damage to the Goldfields Highway.
When Police finally tasered Mr Bagley multiple times and pepper-sprayed him to get him to comply with their instructions after he refused to turn off the engine.
Bagley eventually was acquitted of stealing the machine by Magistrate Sandra De Maio after successfully arguing he had permission from his supervisor to dig out a work vehicle that had become bogged in bushland. But he was convicted of reckless driving, damaging property, and failing to stop when directed by a police officer.
He pleaded guilty to obstructing officers and drink driving, after recording a blood alcohol content of 0.076.
The Magistrate De Maio fined Bagley $4,600, plus court costs of $98.50, and disqualified his driver’s licence for the minimum six-month term.
“You can’t act like an idiot and expect there to be no serious consequences,” the Magistrate told Mr Bagley “God help you if you had hurt someone. That’s too high a price for the community to pay for your stupidity.”
Police prosecutor Phil Meatyard said the incident had been serious because of the recklessness involved.
“It could have been catastrophic or deadly to anyone had it gone wrong,” he said.
Mr Bagley had worked 10 years for the same company and was second-in-charge at the mine site before losing his job over the incident. Mr Bagley’s defence lawyer had had a good reputation until the incident and he deeply regretted his actions.
Source: ABC News 9/3/2018, Image WA Police.
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