A Sydney court has handed down a $200,000 fine for a workplace explosion that left a man with severe burns.

Sydney District Court’s Judge David Russell has ordered a business to pay a $160,000 fine, and also fined its director $40,000 over the incident at a property near Wagga Wagga in July 2015. 

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said the victim was an innocent bystander.

“This man approached Jay Jenkins from a neighbouring property just as Jenkins was using a handheld LPG gas torch to soften bitumen,” Mr. Kean said.

“The bitumen was contained in a vehicle being used to seal a driveway, but an investigation by SafeWork NSW found Jenkins had modified the vehicle and made it unsafe.

“His dodgy actions led to an explosion and fireball, and had a shocking effect on another man’s life.”

They have 28 days to appeal against the sentences.

Mr Kean said the director not only endangered others but himself.

“Let this be a warning to other NSW businesses – the NSW Government takes workplace safety seriously and if you break the law, then we’ll be coming after you.”