Friday 23 March 2018

Company fined $42,000 for failing to guard machinery

A Hoppers Crossing cardboard carton manufacturer has been fined $42,000 for failing to properly guard four separate pieces of machinery.

Ramabo Pty Ltd pleaded guilty in the Werribee Magistrates’ Court to four charges of failing to maintain plant and equipment that was safe and without risks to health.

It was also ordered to pay $5,867 in costs. No conviction was recorded.

The court heard WorkSafe attended the site in February last year and found Ramabo had exposed workers to the risk of crush or entanglement injuries by:

  • Removing the guard on a folder-gluer machine that prevented access to hazardous moving parts.
  • Failing to install a rear guard on a hole punching machine, and taping up wires to allow the machine to run while the guard was raised, including when workers were using it.
  • Failing to repair a damaged mesh guard on a slitter-scorer, exposing workers to a moving blade.
  • Leaving running pinch points between a conveyor and a roller unguarded, which allowed workers to access the dangerous moving part.

WorkSafe Acting Executive Director Health and Safety Paul Fowler said Ramabo had flagrantly put its workers at risk of serious injury by ignoring basic safety procedures and failing to properly guard its machinery.

“The company’s poor safety history was an obvious indication of its cavalier attitude to workplace safety,” he said.

“There is simply no excuse for leaving workers exposed to entanglement and crushing risks while going about their daily tasks.

“Employers must ensure machinery is fitted with the appropriate guards or barriers so moving parts cannot be touched or accessed while operating. WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute companies that put their workers at risk.”

Safety measures to prevent injuries from operating plant include:

  • Ensuring machinery and equipment is fitted with guards, fences, barriers or interlocked gates so moving parts cannot be touched and workers cannot be struck by ejected items.
  • Installing and maintaining presence sensing systems such as light curtains or pressure sensors.
  • Ensuring pre-operation checks are carried out on interlocking and emergency systems.
  • Using isolation procedures such as lockout devices when clearing blockages or servicing and maintaining machinery and equipment.
  • Ensuring guards are in the correct place after any repair or maintenance is done.

For more information on protecting workers from machinery go to: www.worksafe.vic.gov.au.

Further Information

WorkSafe media enquiries: Kathleen O’Dwyer 0435 409 975 Jeremy Venosta 0466 733 523

Public enquiries: Call the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089 between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday, email info@worksafe.vic.gov.au or write to Advisory Service, PO Box 4306, Melbourne, 3001.