Regional Development Australia Illawarra chairman Eddy De Gabriele's company Edmen Recruitment has been fined $117,500 for safety breaches after a worker's legs and testicles were crushed in an industrial machine.
Shane Bushell was employed by Edmen Recruitment to work at waste firm SITA Australia when he slipped into a hydraulic baling machine at a plant near Parramatta in 2009.
As he scrambled to get out, yelling for help, a mechanical arm on the machine severed his legs and left hand.
A workmate managed to switch off the baling machine, and it took about two hours to free the still-conscious Mr Bushell.
The Industrial Court of NSW heard Mr Bushell lost one-third of both femurs, his testicles and suffered major skin injuries.
Both Edmen Recruitment and SITA admitted breaching occupational health and safety legislation and were convicted last week.
Edmen Recruitment was fined $117,500, while SITA received a $130,000 penalty. Both were also ordered to pay legal costs.
Mr De Gabriele said his company had immediately taken full responsibility and expected to receive a "significant" fine.
He said the court's judgment was fair and took into account the company's longstanding safety record, as well as its early guilty plea and good corporate citizenship.
The RDA Illawarra chief said he was "personally traumatised" by Mr Bushell's accident.
"You actually feel a sense of sick when you see one of your employees injured, and injured badly," he said.
"Edmen only has people, we don't produce goods or a product, so if our people get hurt it affects everybody - from myself, the owner, all the way down to our consultants."
Justice Wayne Haylen noted Edmen Recruitment had continued to employ Mr Bushell and had reviewed its safety procedures following the accident.
"The defendant has ... supported [Mr Bushell] as he has re-focused on the work he can now perform and the valuable role he can play by public speaking engagements that draw attention to the need for safety in the workplace and the devastating injuries that may result even where there are comprehensive workplace rules in operation," he said.
"Edmen took a number of steps to address the acts and omissions exposed by this accident and fully co-operated with the WorkCover Authority investigation."