The defendant operated a business involving steel fabrication. On 3 October 2012 a worker was injured while using a steel tube bending machine. The worker's right hand got caught in the machine and suffered crush injuries as the guarding on the machine was not appropriate.
The defendant pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on 7 May 2015 to breaching s. 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, having failed to meet its work health and safety duties and was sentenced.
Magistrate Daley fined the defendant $30 000 and no conviction was recorded.
In reaching a decision the court acknowledged the defendant failed to identify the hazard and control the risk. The defendant also failed to establish a safe system of work while operating the steel tube bending machine. No exclusion zone was implemented or enforced.
In deciding penalty, Magistrate Daley took into account the defendant entered an early plea, undertook prompt remedial action to comply with its obligations pursuant to the Act, had not been prosecuted previously for any work health and safety breach and co-operated with the investigation.
Considerations for prevention
(Commentary under this heading is not part of the Court's decision)
When deciding on control measures to manage the risk of injury associated with plant, persons conducting a business or undertaking should refer to the Managing risks of plant in the workplace Code of Practice (PDF, 3.9 MB) for guidance, in particular part five.
Where guarding is used to prevent workers being injured from moving parts, the risks associated with maintenance and repair of the plant should be considered:
- If plant or equipment is out of service due to maintenance or cleaning activities, ensure appropriate lockout and tag out processes are in place and have been communicated to staff.
- Isolate plant before maintenance and repair commences. Where a machine cannot be adequately guarded due to maintenance issues, consider decommissioning the plant until the necessary repairs have been made and the guarding replaced.
- Date of offence:
- Crush injuries to four fingers on the right hand resulting in tendon damage and amputation to the 1st knuckle of ring finger and middle finger
- Brisbane Central Magistrates Court
- Ms Judith M Daley
- s. 32 of the duty under s.19 Work Health and Safety Act 2011
- Decision date:
- $ 30 000
- Maximum Penalty:
- $ 1 500 000
- Conviction recorded:
- CIS event number: