Workers Crushed in Unsafe Workplace
Firstly in Lilydale Yarra Valley Snack Foods Pty Ltd pleaded guilty in the Ringwood Magistrates’ Court for failing to provide or maintain safe systems of work. For having an unsafe workplace the company was fined $80,000.
The court heard the machine, which weighs about 500 kilograms, tipped and fell on the worker when its roller wheels became jammed in a floor grate as it was being moved for cleaning.
The 26-year-old worker suffered a punctured lung, fractured ribs, fractured leg and ankle, fractured lower back and deep lacerations. He has not returned to work.
A workplace needs to be safe at all times
On another occasion in Shepparton, Tatura Fresh Pty Ltd pleaded guilty for failing to provide or maintain a working environment that was safe and without risks to health. The court heard a worker was operating a powered leaf mat washer when his arm was caught in an unguarded winding mechanism, causing serious crush injuries and nerve damage.
Tatura Fresh had imported the washer from overseas without ensuring it met Australian standards and had failed to ensure there was guarding around dangerous, powered areas and that there was a documented system of work for operating the machine.
There was also no safety switch and the emergency stop control was not operational.
An unsafe workplace leads to a crushed and $30,000 fine for the tomato farm.
To manage risk better employers should consider the following:
- 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.
Tips for cleaning plant and equipment safely:
- Undertake a risk assessment to identify any hazards and assess how to remove or control them.
- Have a documented procedure in place, including on how to power down and isolate equipment.
- Machines should be powered down, fully secured and stable before cleaning begins.
- Ensure machinery is properly guarded and safety interlocks are regularly checked.
- Ensure workers are properly trained and supervised. They should understand the procedure and the risks associated with the plant and equipment being cleaned.
Getting your White Card from COVE Training is the first step in providing a safe workplace for your employees.
We run courses online, Seaford, Dandenong and Thomastown. Call us today on (03) 8773 9000 or visit our course calendar for dates, times and locations.