Degloving incident costs Mildura juice company $30,000
Lencia Fruit Juices Pty Ltd, a Mildura drinks manufacturer, has been convicted and fined $30,000 after a worker’s hand was dragged into an unguarded bottling machine in June 2019. The drinks manufacturer was found guilty of failing to provide or maintain plant that was safe and without risks to health. The company was also ordered to pay costs of $1654.83.
The incident occurred when the 33-year-old worker was operating the machine and reached in to remove empty bottles; his right hand became trapped and sustained a partial degloving, a burst tendon and nerve damage. The company had purchased the second-hand machine earlier that month and there was no guarding to prevent workers becoming caught in the moving components.
WorkSafe Victoria Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said there is no room for complacency around high-risk hazards like moving machinery, and urged employers to ensure that the safety of their workers is their first priority.
“This horrific incident could have been easily avoided if the company had put adequate guarding in place,” said Nielsen.
To manage risks, employers are advised to identify hazards, assess the risks associated with them, and eliminate or control those risks by isolating them or using an alternative. Staff should also be trained in the safe operation of machine and equipment, and provided with written procedures in the worker’s first language.
Employers should also develop and implement safe operating procedures in consultation with employees and health and safety representatives. Guards and gates must also be compliant and fixed to machines at all times. All machines and equipment should be regularly serviced, with signs on or around machines to alert employees of the dangers of operating it.
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