05:58 pm, Monday 16 September, 2013
A brick company has been given a fine of $90,000 for a workplace incident where the face of a worker was crushed by a hydraulic ram.
The ram came down on the shoulders of the worker and forced his face into the fallen bricks that he was attempting to recover.
He was transported to hospital with a broken right scapula, broken jaw, and multiple fractures to his right elbow and face and needed surgery.
The employer’s lawyers pleaded guilty in the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court to one charge under sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.
The court heard that the same company was fined $55,000 and convicted in 2007 for a similar accident where a worker received significant injuries; it was found that they had failed to provide and maintain a safe operating plant.
The WorkSafe prosecutor said that the worker had been working alone in the packaging area when he had turned off the “strapping machine” the clear bricks that had fallen underneath the hydraulic ram.
Another worker turned it back on not realising that he was retrieving the bricks.
The court was told that the brick company knew the danger in packaging and had a tag out system in place which had not been used in this instance.