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Prosecution Details

Offender Midland Brick Company Pty Ltd

Charges

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Charge Charge Number Offence Date Date Convicted Regulation Section Penalty Provision Penalty Imposed Date Sentenced
1 FR13756/07 1 May 2006 22nd February 2010 3A(3)(b)(i) $70,000.00 22nd February 2010
Description of Breach(es)

Where under a labour hire arrangement work was carried out for remuneration by a worker, for the accused who was a client of a labour hire agent, namely Staff Link Pty Ltd, in the course of the accused's trade or business, the accused failed to, so far as practicable, provide and maintain a working environment in which a worker was not exposed to hazards, and by that failure caused serious harm; contrary to sections 23F, 19(1) and 19A(2) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Background Details

The Accused is a brick maker.  At the workplace there was a building which was known as the Cassani Factory.  Machinery in that factory included a hopper which delivered a concrete mix onto a conveyor which carried the mix to another hopper which then delivered the mix into a series of paving brick moulds.  That conveyor was known as the Material Conveyor.  The conveyor automatically stopped and started in response to whether the hopper which delivered the mix into the moulds was full or needed more mix.  If the Material Conveyor had stopped there was no visual or audible warning that it was about to re-start.

The machinery in the Cassani Factory was operated from a control room in the same building which was 20 to 30 metres away from some of the machinery.  The control room had a window in it but workers in the Cassani Factory could not always be seen from it.  It depended upon where in the Cassani Factory the worker was standing.

Workers in the control room could not hear a worker in the Cassani Factory who called out or yelled because of the noise of the machinery and the distance between the control room and the machinery.

There are numerous points on the machinery in the Cassani Factory where two moving parts meet and create a pinch point into which hair, clothing or limbs can be drawn.

The material conveyor was cleaned several times each day to remove mix.  This was done with water from a high pressure hose, and any guards were left on.

The injured person, who was employed by a labour hire company, worked for the accused in a position known as the Cassani Press Operator Offsider.  The job required that he assist the Cassani Press Operator to ensure the efficient production of paving bricks.  This included cleaning the mix off the machinery when it built up in locations that may affect the operation of the machinery.

On 1 May 2006 at about 9.00 pm he was carrying out checks of the machinery.  He did this alone.  He saw that the Material Conveyor was not working properly because mix had built up on the rollers.

He was in the process of cleaning the Material Conveyor when it re-started and pulled in his hand and then arm.  There were not any emergency stop buttons, a lanyard or other emergency stop buttons near this pinch point.  His screams were not heard by anyone including those in the control room and no one could see or was watching him.

His right hand and arm were drawn into the pinch point of the conveyor, and his right arm was torn from his right shoulder joint and permanently amputated.

As no one had seen or heard him, he staggered to the control room to get help.

On 2 May 2006 WorkSafe Inspectors attended the workplace and issued a prohibition notice which prohibited use of the Material Conveyor until it was properly guarded.

The accused located a contractor who within 24 hours of receipt of the order for guards placed guards on the pinch points of the Material Conveyor.




Outcome Summary

Found Guilty

Court Magistrates Court of Western Australia - Perth
Costs $30,000.00

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