WorkSafe VIC have reported that two businesses have received fines totalling $35,000 following a contractor crushing his thumb in an unguarded machine. The worker’s thumb was crushed while operating an unguarded operating press after a safety device that stops the machine from working when guarding is removed was taken off. WorkSafe VIC report that the sub-contractor Leslie Grinter, who was engaged by Greg Sewell Forgings to carry out work and training at the site, spent 10 minutes removing the device on the day of the incident then trained the worker to work the press without the guard.
WorkSafe VC advise that they are commencing a 12-month campaign targeting dangerous machines. WorkSafe VIC Regional Director, Shane Gillard, said removing guarding from a machine was a recipe for disaster and urged businesses to revisit safety practices around machinery before it was too late. “Guarding is there to protect workers from being seriously hurt or killed, yet we frequently come across incidents where someone has suffered a serious injury that could easily be prevented,” he said.
WorkSafe VIC report that the investigation found the company did not know the interlocked guard had been removed by the sub-contractor, but failed to provide proper supervision, instruction and training.
Greg Sewell Forgings received a fine of $30,000, without conviction, while Mr Grinter received a $5000 fine in May after pleading guilty to failure by a self-employed person to ensure people are not exposed to risks to their health and safety.
For more information, you can find the full report by WorkSafe VIC at: http://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/wsinternet/WorkSafe/SiteTools/News/