Company fined $100k following forklift injury
Logistics company, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics Pty Ltd, which supplies supermarket chains has been fined $100,000 (plus costs of $6,555) after a worker was injured by a forklift.
The company was convicted and fined at Sunshine Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty to a single charge under Section 21(1) of the OHS Act of failure to provide a safe system of work by not having a traffic management system in place.
The incident occurred at a factory operated by Hellmann Worldwide Logistics in Laverton North where containers of food and other consumables are received for distribution to supermarket chains. On 2 August 2016 an electric forklift operated by a labour hire worker was reversing when it struck a second worker, also labour hire, who was walking behind. He was pushed to the ground and under the forklift, resulting in a fractured leg.
A WorkSafe investigation revealed there was no traffic management system in place and no physical barriers or other means of separating mobile machinery from pedestrians. The company has since put in place pedestrian walkways defined by fixed barriers at the factory.
The labour hire company was separately charged for failing to conduct a risk assessment and failing to liaise with Hellmann Worldwide Logistics regarding risks arising from the work to be performed. That matter was resolved by way of an enforceable undertaking on 11 July 2018.
Read more: WorkSafe media release
Hand caught; company fined $35k
A manufacturer of woollen doonas, Veolia Pty Ltd, has been convicted and fined $35,000 after pleading guilty to breaching the OHS Act following an incident in which a worker's hand became caught in the rollers of a 'carding machine' in November 2017. The worker lost a finger and also lost the skin and ligaments from two other fingers and his palm. WorkSafe found that there was no interlocked guarding on the access panels of the machine, nor were there time delay interlocks for the rollers to run down and stop moving, no guarding to protect employees from moving components, no perimeter fencing to restrict access. Further, the employer had not provided sufficient information, instruction and training to employees on the use and maintenance of the machine.
Worker crushed; company fined $20k
In an incident in October 2017, an employee of Jim's Group Pty Ltd which operates Bayswater Welding & Fibreglass ended up pinned underneath a trailer he had been working on. He sustained a broken left upper arm and a cracked collar bone and was taken to hospital. A 'sling' he had used to lift the trailer in order to access a non-functioning battery had broken. The company pleaded guilty to breaching s21 of the OHS Act, and was fined $20,000 (plus $4,012 costs) without conviction.
Falling steel injures worker
Stilcon Holdings Pty Ltd which operates a steel fabrication factory in Sunshine West has been fined $10,000, without conviction, following an incident in which steel weighing about 290kg fell on a worker's foot.
In August 2017 an employee was moving the 8 metre long section of steel from one part of the factory to another, using a lifting component identified as a plate dog clamp to attach the steel to the overhead crane. Under the OHS Regs, this lift was 'high risk work', which required the employee to hold a high risk work licence (class Dogging) - which he did not. As he was moving the steel it detached from the clamp and fell on his foot. He was transported to Footscray Hospital and missed one month of work.
To check all of the recent prosecutions, go to the WorkSafe Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings webpage.