Rubbertough Industries Pty Ltd copped a $15,000 fine + costs after a guilty plea.
The rubber supplier based in Warragul copped a $15,000 fine plus costs after a new worker had the tops of 2 fingers severed while attempting to cover a mixer with exposed blades with a tarpaulin to prevent rain from entering the mixing drum.
The company were hired to lay rubberised surfaces on a playground in Wollert. The process of mixing rubber batches involved the use of a mixer, which contains a metal blade agitator driven by a 240V electric motor.
The offender had arranged for installation of a safety switch as well as a guard for the motor, but the employee could still gain access to the metal blade from multiple places around the drum.
On 31 May 2017 a new worker commenced employment with the offender. On 6 June 2017 the offender's employees attended the workplace to perform the task which required the use of the mixer. The risk eventuated when the new worker attempted to cover the mixer with a tarpaulin to prevent rain from entering the mixing drum by tucking the tarpaulin into the danger area causing the tops of 2 fingers to be severed.
The employer told the court that he was not aware of any similar incident occurring during his time in the industry. Additionally, after the incident the employer took steps to remedy the safety issue including engaging engineers to create additional guarding.
The offender did not have prior convictions and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. The offender pleaded guilty and was without conviction sentenced to pay a fine of $15,000.00 and to pay costs of $3,142.00.
Full details of prosecutions can be found on WorkSafe's website: www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/prosecution-result-summaries-enforceable-undertakings