Gippsland company, Dennis Jones Engineering Pty Ltd, and its director Dennis Jones, have been convicted and fined a total of $2.24 million after an apprentice was seriously injured using a metal turning lathe, in October 2021.
Jones also received a five-year Community Corrections Order and a $140,000 fine for failing to ensure a safe workplace and safe systems of work.
In the incident the apprentice was directed to use a plastic sleeve to steady steel pipes on the lathe. When the pipe bent and whipped, he was struck, resulting in serious head injuries.
A resulting investigation found preventive measures, such as fixing covers to the lathe or using a fixed steady to support pipes, could and should have been taken, with WorkSafe emphasising the company's failure to implement known safety measures.
The penalties reflect the life-altering impact this devastating incident has had on a vulnerable apprentice who was at the very start of his career.
Controls required for the safe operation of metal turning lathes include appropriate guarding, compatible tools, creating restricted zones, and providing proper training and protective equipment to workers.