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Turf QLD Industry Alert |Poor machine guarding amputations lead to hefty fines

Poor machine guarding amputations lead to hefty fines

Two recent court decisions have highlighted the importance of ensuring machines are properly guarded when there is a risk of workers becoming entangled or having fingers amputated.

In the most recent incident, a company was fined $35,000 after an automated tube manufacturing and filling machine had its heavy duty Perspex guard door modified. A young worker put her arm through the modified hole and two of her fingers were amputated by the guillotine trimming blade.

The court noted the incident served as a reminder to employers that regardless of a worker’s experience or that a machine may have operated for years without incident, ongoing risk assessments were essential. Good systems, equipment and risk assessments should be properly maintained, monitored, adjusted, renewed or modified as circumstances dictated.

Another guarding matter saw a construction company fined $30,000 after a worker had a finger amputated when he was using an air winch to lift refractory bricks out of a smoke stack. While attempting to guide the cable, his glove became caught in the moving spool of the air winch and the cable ran over his fingers. His little finger was amputated and his middle finger fractured.

In reaching a decision, the magistrate said the fact that the guarding wasn’t fitted by the defendant because it was “more convenient” not to do so resulted in severe inconvenience for the injured worker.

Last updated

29 August 2017


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