LAZO PAPER FINED $40K FOR CRUSHED HAND

Cardboard manufacturer Lazo Paper has been fined $40,000 after a worker's hand was dragged into unguarded machinery at its Keysborough factory in May 2022.

The company, now in liquidation, was sentenced in the Dandenong Magistrates' Court on Wednesday after being found guilty of two charges of failing to provide and maintain plant that was safe and without risks to health.

The injured worker, who speaks little English, was tasked with cleaning a large gluing machine consisting of a flat bench and two powered rollers. Since he had never cleaned the machine before or seen anyone else do the task, the injured worker started wiping the bottom roller while it was running. However, the cloth became caught, dragging his hand between the rollers, resulting in two broken fingers and eight weeks off work.

A WorkSafe investigation found that the guarding on the machine, which consisted of corrugated cardboard bound together on the top of the machine, was unsecured and inadequate.

WorkSafe contends it was reasonably practicable for the company to ensure the machine had proper guarding, including an interlock device, that only allowed bodily access to the rollers when there was no risk and prevented bodily access at all other times.

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