The Geelong Magistrate’s Court ordered a labour hire company to spend $200,000 on the improvement of safety on what it deemed as dangerous machines at one of its client’s workplaces.
The court order came about after a worker was dragged hip deep into rollers that were not guarded properly and received serious ankle and pelvic injuries.
The labour hire company entered a plea of guilty at the court hearing to failing to provide safe plant and a safe system of work for its employees.
Magistrate Ann Mcgarvie said that the labour hire company is required to procure the services of an OHS consultant at its expense to assess the client’s workplace and how that money should be spent.
The incident happened on the 13th April, 2011 and the operator of the machine was dragged by the feet into the rollers of a loom while he was attempting to get rid of some loose yarn from a length of felt. As a result hi pelvis was fractured and he received an ankle injury.
The investigation determined that the labour hire company did not complete an adequate hazard assessment on the machine. It had a laser cut off device however as this was ankle high it could be easily stepped over.
The machine also could be reactivated by a remote by someone in close proximity and there was not a safe system implemented for taking out loose yarn from a length of felt which often needed to be done.
The labour hire company needs to complete the improvements within a twelve-month period and must report to WorkSafe Victoria on its progress. If in fact it does not spend the total $200,000 the remaining amount must be donated to a relevant charity in consultation with WorkSafe.
The company that owns the workplace where the incident happened was also fined $55,000 last month in the same court.