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A construction worker operated heavy machinery without authorisation twice in the weeks before his death at a remote Northern Territory work site, a court has heard.

Paul Leach, 50, was killed on March 20, 2020 after a chain snapped and recoiled during an excavator towing operation in Maningrida, about 500 kilometres east of Darwin.

Darwin construction company Kalidonis NT Pty Ltd has been charged with two charges of failing to comply with a health and safety duty in relation to his death.

The company has pleaded not guilty to both counts. 

NT WorkSafe had initially charged the company with industrial manslaughter — the first prosecution of its kind since the offence was introduced — but withdrew the charge last year.

Barristers representing Kalidonis NT appeared in Darwin Local Court this week, where the court heard evidence from a string of witnesses, including the company’s former operations manager Jacinta Kelly. 

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