A Tullamarine company in Victoria has been fined $50,000 after two men suffered serious injuries to their hands in February 2009.
Willow Ware Australia pleaded guilty to one charge laid under the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The Melbourne Magistrates Court was told two men were installing a switch on a machine which activated and caused crushing injuries to the men’s hands.
While hydraulic air hoses had been removed from the area being worked on, this was not sufficient to fully isolate the machine and prevent it from causing injury.
Not ensuring machinery was made safe before it was worked-on was a frequent cause of serious injury, according to WorkSafe’s general manager (operations) for health and safety, Lisa Sturzenegger.
“As this case shows, injuries often happen during installation and maintenance. These are some of the most dangerous times as normal precautions may be set aside for the work to be done,” she said.
“In those situations, alternate procedures must be in place and the machine made safe. In the case of hydraulic plant pressure must be released or vented so that operation or movement of parts is not possible.”
Apart from its $50,000 fine, Willow Ware was ordered to pay court costs of almost $9400.