Company convicted and fined after worker’s hand was skinned by machine - 12.12.16

A Geelong-based company was convicted and fined $26,000 in the Geelong Magistrates Court for failing to provide a safe working environment and failing to provide and maintain a plant that was safe and without risks to health. The packing and supply business was also ordered to pay costs of $3386.

On 1 February of this year, a worker together with his manager was operating a machine that prints on, glues and folds cardboard boxes. The court heard that both of them noticed a problem with the print quality on the boxes and decided to climb onto the machine while it was still operating to check the reason.

The worker reached down to touch the ink but his right hand became caught in a nip point of rollers on the machine and was degloved as he pulled it free. He also lost his little finger and the top of his middle finger. The worker had a graft to replace the skin on his hand and went through seven surgeries.

The court heard there was no guard on the machine to prevent workers from coming into contact with the rotating rollers.

“This worker has suffered severe damage to his hand in a horrifying incident because there wasn’t appropriate guarding on this machine,” said WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety, Marnie Williams.

“It is absolutely critical that machinery has guarding to control the risks and prevent injuries. Employers have a clear responsibility to ensure the right controls are in place at their workplaces and if this is not done they will face the consequences.

“A safety checklist can prevent can prevent these kinds of awful incidents. This includes ensuring machinery is properly guarded and safety interlocks are regularly checked before operating, that the machine only operates with guarding attached, operator controls are easily accessible and clearly labelled and that warning lights and alarms are working.

“But tragically, the consequences of this incident will last this worker a lifetime.”

Source: OHS News