TWO men aged 51 and 37 were injured after a blast at a Smeaton grain mill on Saturday afternoon.

BLAST: The damaged remains after a boiler exploded at a UniGrain facility in Smeaton on Saturday: Picture: Lachlan Bence

BLAST: The damaged remains after a boiler exploded at a UniGrain facility in Smeaton on Saturday: Picture: Lachlan Bence

TWO men aged 51 and 37 were injured after a blast at a Smeaton grain mill on Saturday afternoon.

The men were working at the UniGrain site about 2.45pm when the blast occurred.

The 51-year-old man suffered burns to his face, arms and back and was airlifted to The Alfred hospital in a serious condition.

The 37-year-old man suffered burns to his face and was taken to Ballarat Base Hospital.

The injuries to both men are not believed to be life-threatening.

Senior Sergeant Neale Robinson said Worksafe was investigating the accident which all but destroyed a mill at the rear of the site. He said it may have happened after a pressure build up in a boiler.

“We believe a build up of pressure within the boiler itself (caused the accident). The CFA have specialists in there and they are still working it,” he said.

An injured man is airlifted

An injured man is airlifted

It is the second major work place accident in the region in the past two months after two men lost their lives after a trench collapsed in Delacombe in March.

Charlie Howkins and Jack Brownlee were killed when a 3.2 metre trench they were working in collapsed. Their families have joined a Victorian Trades Hall Council’s campaign to make industrial manslaughter a crime.  

Lana Cormie, the wife of Mr Howkins, said there were too many workplace deaths in Victoria.

“Something needs to change and it should start with the laws being strengthened to include industrial manslaughter in Victoria,” she said.

Queensland and the ACT have both passed forms of the legislation but Victoria is still to do so.  

Victorian Trades Hall Council secretary Luke Hilakari said the proposed laws would make it possible to seek criminal prosecution for senior managers whose disregard for safety concerns costs a worker their life.

“Families in grief need to know that things will change; that those at fault won’t repeat the behaviours that took a life away,” he said.

Worksafe is investigating both incidents.