Cheese Machine Incident Means Fine for Dairy Company - 21.6.13

A major Victorian dairy company has been convicted and fined $35,000 after an incident where a worker’s finger was severed in a machine that shreds cheese.

The company pleaded guilty of failing to provide a safe working environment in a hearing at the Geelong Magistrates’ Court this week.

The incident happened on the 7th August 2012. The worker was engaged on the cheese line at the factory when he tried to unblock a cheese shredding machine.

He was cleaning the machine when he fell forward onto the operating button and the machine started. The man’s hand became caught and his index finger was amputated.

It was presented to the court that the chute where the worker’s hand was placed didn’t have an interlock switch installed that would stop it from starting whenever the chute was removed.

It was also presented to the court that an adequate hazard identification risk assessment had not been completed by the company for the cheese shredding machine.