MANUFACTURER FINED AFTER WORKER'S FINGERS AMPUTATED

An aluminium window and door manufacturer has been fined $70,000 after a worker had four fingers amputated while operating a saw at a Bayswater North factory.

Accent Management Services Pty Ltd was fined and ordered to pay costs after pleading guilty to failing to provide a safe working environment.

The incident occurred in November 2020 when a worker was using an electric mitre saw to cut aluminum. After making a cut, the worker reached under the saw with his left hand and made contact with the rotating blade, resulting in the amputation of four fingers.

It was revealed that the company had not enforced the use of the pneumatic clamping system and timber shims, which could have prevented such accidents. The court found that it was reasonably practicable for the company to implement a system that required workers to use clamps and shims and provide proper training on their usage.

The company was found guilty of failing to maintain a safe working environment, fined and ordered to pay costs. 

To manage risks when working with machinery and plant, employers should: 

  • Identify hazards, assess the risks associated with them, and eliminate or control those risks by isolating them or using an alternative.
  • 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.
  • Ensure safety guards and gates are compliant and fixed to machines at all times. 
  • Regularly service and inspect machines and equipment. 
  • Place signs on or near a machine to alert employees of the dangers of operating it.  
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