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Prosecution Details

Offender Hay Australia Pty Ltd (ACN 008 221 645)

Charges

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Charge Charge Number Offence Date Date Convicted Regulation Section Penalty Provision Penalty Imposed Date Sentenced
1 JO11000/2010 16 January 2008 14th June 2011 3A(2)(b)(i) $10,000.00 14th June 2011
Description of Breach(es)

Being an employer, failed so far as was practicable, to provide and maintain a working environment in which its employees were not exposed to hazards; contrary to sections 19(1) and 19A(3) and 3A(2)(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Background Details

The accused operated a hay processing plant at 290 Brand Highway in Muchea whose main business is breaking down large bales of hay into smaller bales for export. The accused employed approximately 15 people at this workplace.

There was a hay process line at the workplace where large bales were fed into one end of the plant where they were broken down and made into smaller bales weighing up to 40 kgs. These bales were then strapped and sent through a metal detector and an x-ray machine. Good bales were sent to the main accumulator where they were pushed by hydraulic rams into stacks that are then picked up by forklift. Bales that were rejected were sent to the reject accumulator where they were also pushed by hydraulic rams into separate stacks where they are also picked up by forklift.

At approximately 10am on 16 January 2008, an employee who was the shift supervisor noticed a blockage at the reject accumulator, where bales were falling onto the ground and also banking up on the conveyor.

The Shift Supervisor and another employee, went to the reject accumulator to attempt to rectify the problem. The employee held back a number of bales on the conveyor, whilst the Shift Supervisor steadied the third bale in the accumulator.

After the ram had pushed the bales out of the accumulator, the third bale fell, catching the Shift Supervisor's sleeve. The ram pulled his arm down between the ram (which extended beyond the accumulator) and the side of the accumulator. As the ram returned to its original position it caught the Shift Supervisor's right forearm and fractured it.

The ram involved was insufficiently guarded and had not been isolated, locked or tagged out prior to this activity.




Outcome Summary

The Accused pleaded guilty

Court Magistrate's Court of Western Australia - Joondalup
Costs $1600.00

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