Melbourne bakery fined after worker’s fingers amputated - 1.3.17

A bakery in Altona North has been fined $40,000 after a worker lost three fingertips in a workplace incident in December 2015.

The company was fined at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to failing to provide and maintain safe plant and failing to provide appropriate information, instruction, training, and supervision.

The worker was trying to clear a blockage in a pastry-filling machine when his hand became stuck and the tips of three of his fingers were amputated. The court heard that both his supervisor and line manager had left the factory before the incident.

The court was also told that the company knew the machine was faulty but decided to keep it in operation.

“I stood on a small step and reached into the depositor with my right hand which I had seen other people do to mix up the custard,” the worker said.

“I had not been trained (if there was a malfunction) and there was no-one to ask. When my right hand was inside the depositor I pushed the custard down. The next thing I felt something grab three of my fingers being my index finger, middle finger, and ring finger.”

WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety, Marnie Williams, said a lack of proper training and lack of guarding on machinery was a potentially deadly combination.

“No worker should be operating machinery that they haven’t been trained appropriately to use,” Ms. Williams said.

“The company should have provided the necessary information, instruction, training, and supervision to the worker for the machinery. It should also have assessed the machine for risks and adequately guarded it at areas that allowed access to moving danger points.

“This company placed its workers directly in harm’s way by leaving them alone with machinery that they hadn’t been properly trained to use.”

Source: OHS News