Juice company fined after worker's hand dragged into machine

A Mildura drinks manufacturer has been convicted and fined $30,000 (plus costs) after a worker's hand was dragged into an unguarded bottling machine in June, 2019.  Lencia Fruit Juices Pty Ltd, which is in liquidation and did not attend the hearing at Mildura Magistrates' Court, was found guilty of failing to provide or maintain plant that was, so far as reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.

The 33-year-old worker was operating the machine and reached in to remove empty bottles when his right hand became trapped. He suffered partial de-gloving, a burst tendon and nerve damage. The company had bought the second-hand machine earlier that month and there was no guarding to prevent workers becoming caught in the moving components.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said there was no room for complacency around high-risk hazards like moving machinery. "This horrific incident could have been easily avoided if the company had put adequate guarding in place," she said. "Employers must ensure the safety of their workers is always their first priority."
Read more: WorkSafe Media release

Company fined after worker falls through ceiling

In July 2019, an employee of Turnkey Communications and Power Solutions Pty Ltd was removing cabling from a suspended ceiling cavity, using an extension ladder to access the ceiling via a manhole at a vacated Optus retail outlet in South Yarra.

As he entered the ceiling cavity, he placed a foot on the ceiling itself, and fell about 3.5 metres when the plaster gave way. Luckily, he received only minor injuries.

The employer did not implement a SWMS as required, and failed to provide information, instruction and training in relation to the risks associated with suspended ceilings. The company pleaded guilty to two charges and was without conviction, fined $25,000 plus costs of $3,058.

Fine of $16,000 after worker loses part of finger

In September 2017, an untrained worker unfamiliar with the task, was assigned to trimming excess plastic material off a hardtop sliding door using an electric planer. The planer came amputated his left middle finger below the knuckle.

The employer, Viscount Rotational Mouldings Pty Ltd, which specialises in rotational and injection moulding processes, pleaded guilty to one charge and was sentenced, without conviction, to pay a fine of $16,000 plus costs $3,738.

To check for more prosecutions before the next edition,  go to WorkSafe Victoria's Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings webpage. 

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