FINGER LOST IN DUMPLING MACHINE

My Crazy Auntie's Food has been fined $45,000 after a worker lost part of their finger in a dumpling machine at a Dandenong South factory in November 2021.

Frustratingly, the accident occurred because the machine lacked proper guarding, and the worker didn't receive adequate information, instruction, and training essential for operating the machine safely - fundamental aspects of injury prevention.

There were additional uncontrolled hazards at the factory, such as failing to protect workers from other machinery and no traffic management plan to ensure people's safety around moving vehicles.

The court highlighted that the partial amputation of the worker's index finger could and should have been prevented by installing guarding over the drive chain without an open section underneath, training workers to power down the machine before maintenance, and providing a safe operating procedure for such tasks.

During inspection, WorkSafe identified entanglement risks in two other parts of the dumpling machinery. Compliance notices were issued, mandating the installation of guarding to prevent bodily access to the dough rollers and rotating paddles on the meat hopper.

WorkSafe subsequently issued a statement emphasising employers must take all necessary measures to ensure machines are safe, including conducting risk assessments, ensuring machines are turned off and stable before cleaning, and providing adequate training on safety procedures for workers.

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