Food company fined for worker’s crush injury - 19.11.14

A food processing company was fined $10,500 plus costs for inadequate guarding which caused crush injury to a worker.

The company was prosecuted for breaching the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2012 (SA) by failing to ensure that appropriate guarding was in place to prevent workers from being injured.

The incident happened in January 2013. A worker had a crush injury to the hand when he checked the drive chain of an automated conveyer used to prepare schnitzels. The drive chain was easily accessed while operating via a latch on the guard panel.

SafeWork SA issued a Prohibition Notice following the incident which required modifications to the machine’s guarding. The company complied with this and made safety improvements.

The company also provided the Australian Meat Industry Council with information for the members about the incident and how risks can be avoided through hazard controls, machine guarding and training.

SafeWork SA’s Executive Director Bryan Russel said South Australians should be reminded of the importance of prioritising safety in the workplace.

“Everyone has a responsibility for making our workplaces as safe as possible so that injuries are avoided. It is as simple as identifying and addressing risks to ensure that no-one is placed in an unsafe situation.”

“I remind all businesses and workers that unsafe work practices can result in legal action with penalties imposed by the courts for parties found guilty of breaching work health and safety laws,” he said.

The company faced a maximum fine of $30,000 with the court imposing a fine of $15,000 reduced to $10,500 plus costs because of the defendant’s prompt response and contrition and early guilty plea.

(Source: OHS News).