Shepparton fruit company fined after finger slice incident

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Photo: Mdesigns, Pixabay

A Shepparton fruit company has been fined $25,000 after a worker’s finger was partially severed in a machinery incident.

The worker was attempting to flick a stuck piece of fruit off the conveyor belt with her finger when the incident occurred.

The company pleaded guilty to one charge for failing to ensure guarding prevented access to a dangerous area of the plant.

The company installed guarding to cover the gap between the conveyor and the edge soon after the incident. Additional training was also provided to all employees.

WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said workers should not be exposed to the risk of injury when cleaning machinery.

“This worker has been left with permanent injuries that would have been avoided if appropriate guarding had been in place,” Ms. Nielsen said.

“The risks of exposing workers to moving machinery are well known and WorkSafe will not hesitate to take action against employers who fail to do all they can to eliminate or reduce these.”

The company was also ordered to pay $3592 in costs.

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