Melbourne company fined for safety failings - 27.3.18

A Melbourne cardboard carton manufacturer has been fined $42,000 and ordered to pay $5,867 in costs for safety failings.

The company was fined after pleading guilty in the Werribee Magistrates’ Court to four charges of failing to maintain plant and equipment that was safe and without risks to health.

No conviction was recorded.

The court heard WorkSafe attended the site in February last year and found that workers had been exposed to the risk of crush or entanglement injuries by:

  • Removing the guard on a folder-gluer machine that prevented access to hazardous moving parts.
  • Failing to install a rear guard on a hole punching machine, and taping up wires to allow the machine to run while the guard was raised, including when workers were using it.
  • Failing to repair a damaged mesh guard on a slitter-scorer, exposing workers to a moving blade.
  • Leaving running pinch points between a conveyor and a roller unguarded, which allowed workers to access the dangerous moving part.

WorkSafe Acting Executive Director Health and Safety Paul Fowler said the company had ignored basic safety procedures and failed to properly guard its machinery, thus putting its workers at risk of serious injury.

“The company’s poor safety history was an obvious indication of its cavalier attitude to workplace safety,” he said.

“There is simply no excuse for leaving workers exposed to entanglement and crushing risks while going about their daily tasks.

“Employers must ensure machinery is fitted with the appropriate guards or barriers so moving parts cannot be touched or accessed while operating. WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute companies that put their workers at risk.”

WorkSafe recommends the following safety measures to prevent injuries from operating plant:

  • Machinery and equipment should be fitted with guards, fences, barriers or interlocked gates to prevent access to moving parts and workers cannot be struck by ejected items.
  • Installing and maintaining presence sensing systems such as light curtains or pressure sensors.
  • Carry out pre-operation checks on interlocking and emergency systems.
  • Use isolation procedures such as lockout devices when clearing blockages or servicing and maintaining machinery and equipment.
  • Ensure guards are in the correct place after repair or maintenance

Source: OHS News