VIC: Businesses Fined $35,000 After Worker Injured by Unguarded Machine

A business has this week been fined $ 30,000 in the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court after a contractor had his thumb crushed in an unguarded machine in 2010.

The prosecution come as WorkSafe begins a 12-month campaign targeting dangerous machines.

Regional Director, Shane Gillard, said removing guarding from a machine was a recipe for disaster and urged businesses to revisit safety practices around machinery before it was too late.

“Guarding is there to protect workers from being seriously hurt or killed, yet we frequently come across incidents where someone has suffered a serious injury that could easily be prevented,” he said.

The Campbellfield manufacturing company pleaded guilty to failing to provide instruction, training and supervision.

The worker’s thumb was crushed while operating an unguarded operating press after a safety device that stops the machine from working when guarding is removed was taken off.

The court heard the device was removed by a sub-contractor who was engaged by the company to carry out work and training at the site.

The subcontractor spent 10 minutes removing the device on the day of the incident then trained the worker to work the press without the guard.

He later told WorkSafe investigators he was aware the press was being used by the worker without the interlocked guard.

WorkSafe’s investigation found the company did not know the interlocked guard had been removed by the sub-contractor, but failed to provide proper supervision, instruction and training.

The company was fined $ 30,000, without conviction, while the subcontractor had earlier received a $ 5000 fine in May after pleading guilty to failure by a self-employed person to ensure people are not exposed to risks to their health and safety.

OHS News

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