An Adelaide aviation firm has been fined and ordered to pay compensation to a teenage employee who suffered finger injuries on the job.
Cobham Aviation Services Engineering had already pleaded guilty to breaching section 19(1) of the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986 in failing to ensure the safety of an employee at work.
The incident happened in June 2008 at the defendant's premises at Adelaide Airport, where it runs a maintenance workshop.
The court was told that the worker, aged 19 at the time, had been assigned the task of cutting stainless steel with a large guillotine.
During this task, he came into contact with the moving part of the machine, suffering partial amputations to the tips of his right middle and left index fingers, as well as a de-gloving injury as he pulled his fingers away.
After restorative surgery, the young man returned to work eleven days later, eventually resuming full duties.
In its submissions, SafeWork SA told the court of the safety deficiencies it found: inadequate guarding of the guillotine's clamp; insufficient instruction and information to the apprentice on use of the machine; no written safe operating procedures available; and that the guillotine was unsuitable for the task being performed.
Industrial Magistrate Stephen Lieschke said the apprentice "...was effectively left to work out for himself what equipment he should use... (and) the hazards and risks of using the large guillotine".
In his decision, he fined the company $24,000 after a discount of 20 per cent to account for its early guilty plea, contrition and remedial action. He also ordered compensation of $8,000 be paid under section 53 of the Sentencing Act.
SafeWork SA said the case again underscored the need to ensure young workers are adequately trained and protected around hazardous machinery.
"Young workers and manufacturing workplaces both rank high in their respective categories for workplace injuries," said acting executive director, Juanita Lovatt.
"We know that young workers are especially vulnerable due to their keenness and inexperience, and employers need to factor this in as a priority in their safety management."