Australian Dairy Packaging Pty Ltd pleaded guilty in Heidelberg Magistrates' Court on Friday to two charges of failing to provide and maintain a safe working environment.

In March 2019, a worker reached inside the blender's discharge chute to clear a blockage when the revolving blades amputated one of his fingers and severely injured another.

He spent two months in hospital and underwent three operations to reattach the fingers.

Following the incident, the company complied with an improvement notice ensuring appropriate guarding was used to prevent access to the ribbon blender's danger area.

Two months later, another worker lost multiple fingers when she reached inside the discharge chute opening while the blender was running after the new guarding had been removed so the machine could be cleaned.

WorkSafe Acting Executive Director Health and Safety Adam Watson said in both incidents, much more should have been done to control the risks posed by the machine.

To manage risks when working with machinery employers should:

  • Identify hazards, assess the risks associated with them and eliminate or control those risks by isolating them or using an alternative.
  • Ensure safety guards and gates are compliant and always fixed to machines
  • Regularly service and inspect machines and equipment.
  • Train staff in the safe operation of machines and equipment and provide written procedures in the worker's first language.
  • Develop and implement safe operating procedures in consultation with employees and health and safety representatives.
  • Place signs on or near a machine to alert employees of the dangers of operating it.

Source: WorkSafe News, 21 June 2022


One of three PCBUs charged over an incident where a crane came into contact with overhead powerlines, and two workers suffered serious electric shocks, has been convicted and fined $150,000, plus $102,000 in prosecution costs.

In sentencing the PCBU, Judge David Russell said it could have prevented the electric shocks through "simple and well-known steps", and found its level of culpability was in the "mid range".

The incident occurred in October 2018 at Wingecarribee Shire Council's Moss Vale sewerage treatment plant.

A worker who delivered the crane operated the vehicle despite not being licensed to do so. The crane's boom then touched or nearly touched overhead powerlines, causing two Arkwood workers to suffer electric shocks and serious burns.

Source: OHS Alert, Friday, 17 June, SafeWork NSW v Arkwood (Gloucester) Pty Limited (No. 2) [2022] NSWDC 201 (10 June 2022)




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