Victoria market butcher fined $10,000 after worker's hand caught in mincer
Bao Quoc Tran, with his ex-wife, runs a family partnership butcher shop at Queen Victoria Market. He cuts meat, trains staff and delivers to customers. On 20 April 2019, an employee was pushing meat into a mincer when his right hand became trapped, sustaining serious injuries. The mincer had an unguarded circular feed chute at the top of the machine which was large enough to allow bodily access to the dangerous rotating mincing auger.
It would have been reasonably practicable for the employer to eliminate the risk to workers by installing fixed guarding over the circular feed chute to prevent bodily access to the rotating auger. He also failed to have in place a documented safe operating procedure and appropriate training in the procedure.
Bao Quoc Tran pleaded guilty to two charges under the OHS Act, and was, without conviction, fined $10,000 plus costs of $5,679.50.
Formwork company fined $19,000
Balmain & Co Pty Ltd ('Balmain'), a project construction company developing and building residential and commercial developments, subcontracted Structure 360 Pty Ltd to do formwork at an eight-level residential apartment block in Peel Street, North Melbourne.
On 31 August 2019 Structure 360's employees and contractors were erecting the formwork on Level 5 of the workplace. A tower crane was lifting concrete panels and columns. A Structure 360 employee tasked Balmain employees with lifting the formwork deck materials that were on Level 5 onto the suspended formwork deck on Level 6, and then left the workplace. On the second attempt to lift the formwork, the bearer collapsed. One Balmain employee rode the load down when it collapsed. Another Balmain employee was working on Level 5, directly underneath, and became trapped. There were no exclusion zones marked out on Level 5.
The company should have implemented systems of work to minimise the risk, such as establishing an exclusion zone underneath the section of suspended formwork deck; and/or have a suitably qualified person inspect the suspended formwork deck before loading the materials.
Structure 360 pleaded guilty to breaching s23(1) of the OHS Act (Duties of employers to other persons) and was without conviction fined $19,000 plus $3,797 costs.
To check for more Victorian prosecutions before the next edition, go to WorkSafe Victoria's Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings webpage.