The Industrial Court dished out a $28,000 fine (plus legal fees) to Improved Timber Pty Ltd following an incident that resulted in the severed finger of a worker. The worker was injured while working on a machine that had no guard in place which SafeWork SA has deemed a “failure to ensure machinery was in safe condition” for workers.
The incident occurred in February 2012 while the worker was being supervised operating the docking saw. The worker was holding timber in place when the blade caught his head, severing his left index finger. The worker was forced to take 10 weeks off for recuperation time as a result of his injury.
Magistrate Stephen Lieschke stated that the injury could have been avoided or reduced had a guard been placed over the saw or other operation controls.
Guard & Controls Have Been Installed Since Injury
Lieschke, revealed that Improved Timber had recently installed a guard and other controls to avoid further incidents and operators are no longer at risk or injury.SafeWork SA Executive Director Bryan Russell called on employers to conduct hazard and risk assessments on machinery and tasks.
“The Industrial Court’s decision reminds all employers of their duty of care to prevent a worker suffering an injury,” stated Bryan Russell, executive director of SafeWork SA.
The employer faced a maximum penalty of $300,000 however the court has since imposed a total penalty of $35,000, due to Improved Timber’s guilty plea, cooperation with SafeWork SA and statement of responsibility and contrition.
More info on Warehouse Safety Training
The Australian company plead guilty in the Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court this week to one count of failing to provide a safe system of work and proper instruction, training and supervision.The employee allegedly crawled under a device that was utilized for the manufacture and packaging of health bars; to sanitize its rollers. The court heard that crawling under the machine to take off the guarding was common practice in the factory.
While the worker was cleaning the machine, it would remain in operation so that the rollers may perhaps be cleaned. However, on 29 June 2010, when the worker undertaking the task, the cloth she was using became trapped and as she tried to remove it, her supplementary hand, which was resting on the machine so she can balance herself, was caught in the rollers.
The moving machinery severed half of her middle finger.The investigation by WorkSafe alleged that Healthy Snacks Australia neglected to conduct an efficient risk assessment associated with the use of the machine, nor did they ensure that employees were prohibited from cleaning the machine while it was operating. The company was also found to not provide any training or supervision to its workers who cleaned the machine. Lastly, the company neglected to inform the employees of standard operating procedures, specifically when cleaning the machine. Healthy Snacks AU was ordered to pay a $60,000 fine and $3000 in WorkSafe expenses on the case.
More info on Warehouse Safety
A man from Muchea, West Australia has suffered an injury to his arm after catching it in a hay-baling machine.
Hay Australia Pty Ltd has plead guilty to charges of failing to provide and maintain a safe work environment for its employee. The company was subsequently fined $10,000.
Hay Australia’s business is mainly breaking down large bales of hay into smaller ones, which are then exported.The process of breaking the bales down involves organizing bales into “good bales” and “bad bales” and then sending them to an accumulator where they are then pushed down by a hydraulic rams into individual stacks and then picked up by a forklift.
Working from Heights Incident
The incident involving the injured man occurred when he noticed a conveyor being blocked. After attempting to fix the problem a fallen bale caught the man’s sleeve and pulled his arm between the bale and the accumulator.
The ram then caught the man’s right forearm and fractured it.
WorkSafe commission for West Australia said the incident is another reminder of the importance of guarding machinery and locking it before attempting any repairs or modifications.The commissioner indicated that the proper warehouse safety training is available, and it is disappointing to continuously hear of similar cases happening.
In 2007 three men suffered serious injuries after a one-tonne pallet fell on top of them. Recently, the two companies, Zac Pac and J.I.T Offset have been fined for $193,000 and ordered to pay legal costs for the injuries of the men . Both companies operate in the same facility in Ingleburn Sydney.
The incident occurred when the three men were attempting to clean up fallen sheet metal until two and half pallets (weighing more than a tonne) fell onto all three of them.
Two of the workers suffered from soft-tissue damage and lower-back muscle problems along with cuts and bruises. The other gentleman fractured his spine, dislocated and fractured his elbow, and sustained cuts and bruises to his head. As a result, the worker was not able to work for two months.
An investigation by WorkCover determined that the safety precautions at the facility were insufficient and that this type of injury was predictable and preventable.
The investigation also determined that the companies had failed to provide safe work practices to the employees, failed to conduct risk assessments, failed to provide warehouse safety training, failed to provide sufficient supervision, and failed to inform the employees of the potential risks.
Source : http://www.mathandling.com.au/news/nsw-manufacturers-fined-193000-after-pallets-fal