Prosecutions

Victorian Prosecutions:
1 - Printing firm convicted and fined $40k for entrapment of arm

Ausprinters Pty Ltd, a Hallam company making printed media products for the packaging of goods, employs  approximately 10 workers.

On 25 July 2017 an employee was setting up a printer to do a printing job when his arm was caught in the rollers and was pulled in. His arm was trapped in way that to remove it part of the printer had to be dismantled. The employee suffered injuries which required hospitalisation and multiple surgeries.

WorkSafe Inspectors who attended the workplace observed that safety systems had been bypassed, were missing or were no longer effective in controlling the risks. Specifically, panel doors providing guarding to internal danger areas were missing, interlocks were bypassed to allow the machine to run with panel doors open or missing, a lack of guarding for multiple in-running nip points were accessible by hand and emergency-stop safety lanyards were missing from the third level of the printer. They also determined that the worker had not received any information or instruction on the danger areas of the printer or how to operate the printer in a way that did not require him to place parts of his body inside.

Ausprinters pleaded guilty and was convicted and fined $40,000, plus $6,032 costs.

2 - Window manufacturer fined just $12k after potentially fatal incident
Imperial Aluminium Windows & Doors P/L ('IAWD') is a manufactures and supplies aluminium doors and windows which has approximately 9 full-time employees.

In early May 2018, IAWD received delivery of 30 sheets of 6.38mm thick laminated safety glass, each measuring 1.8m x 2.44m. The sheets of glass were packed together and strapped to the side wall to the rear of the container, and were inaccessible by way of forklift or pallet jack, so it was decided to remove the glass one sheet at a time.

On 5 May 2018, two directors and an employee began to unload the sheets, removing the end and top caps. The process involved a director holding the sheets of glass in place whilst the other two used suction clamps to lift the sheets of glass one at a time, walking them out of the container and onto a trolley. After 15 sheets had been removed they took a short break. Then after 4 or 5 more were moved, the remaining load shifted and fell onto the three men, causing injuries.

IAWD pleaded guilty to two charges and was without conviction fined $12,000.00 and $3,592 costs.

Minor prosecutions:

  1. Fresh Delight Trading P/L (a fruit and vegetable store): fined $1000 after a WorkSafe Inspector visited the workplace and found an employee operating a forklift while another person (not an employee) stood on the raised tines of the forklift in the loading bay
  2. The employee of Fresh Delight was also fined $800 - who did not have a valid forklift licence and not only operated the forklift with a person on the tines, but was found operating a forklift on two subsequent occasions. The man pleaded guilty to one reckless endangerment charge and two charges in respect of operating the forklift without a valid licence.
  3. An Inspector visiting a site where Effective Electrical P/L was installing solar panel on a roof at a height of approx 6m, observed a male, later determined to be the Site Manager, step off the roof, climb over the rails of a scissor lift to enter its platform and descend to the ground. While he was wearing a harness, it was not attached to anything. The employer failed to implement a passive fall prevention device, such as the tower scaffold prescribed in its SWMS, pleaded guilty to breaching s21 of the Act, and was fined $3,000 (and costs of $4,725

To check all of the recent prosecutions, go to the WorkSafe Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings webpage.

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