Victorian company, Cabinetry Pty Ltd, operates a machine known as the Biesse Akron 425 edge banding machine, used to apply edge banding to wooden boards. A court recently heard the Akron 425 frequently experienced issues that required troubleshooting.
On May 14, 2021, an employee was attempting to repair the machine, with a large glass door covering all the machine's moving parts open. Unexpectedly, the machine started working, causing a fast circular saw blade to fall onto the worker's hand, severing and damaging all of his fingers and thumb.
He was subsequently taken to hospital, where a surgeon managed to reattach his index finger and part of his thumb.
Leaving the glass door open had become a common practice due to inadequate instruction and training regarding the machine's operation and maintenance.
A WorkSafe inspection revealed the machine's safety mechanism, which should have prevented it from operating when the door was open, was jammed with dust and debris.
The court determined that the machine should have been properly guarded, and opening the door in such a manner was unsafe. The injury was severe, and the worker's hand would never fully recover.
Considering that the company took immediate measures to rectify the safety issue and implement safety training, the court imposed a fine of $25,000 without a conviction and ordered them to pay costs of $3,985.