|Offender||Recycla-Plas Pty Ltd|
|Charge||Charge Number||Offence Date||Date Convicted||Regulation||Section||Penalty Provision||Penalty Imposed||Date Sentenced|
|1||MI11830/08||25 September 2006||13th May 2010||19(1) 19A(2)||3A(3)(b)(i)||$50,000.00||13th May 2010|
|Description of Breach(es)||
Being an employer, failed , so far as was practicable, to provide and maintain a working environment in which its employee was not exposed to hazards and by that failure caused serious harm to its employee; contrary to sections 19(1) and 19A(2) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984
The Accused is a registered company engaged in recycling plastic products.
On 25 September 2006 an employee of the Accused was working at the Accused premises located at 19 Stanhope Gardens Midvale
The employees' role included using a Hydro-Pac baling machine at the workplace. The machine consisted of a large metal "box" where plastic product was placed in one end, compressed by a slow moving hydraulic ram, baled and then ejected from the other end of the machine. The machine had 3 doors that accessed the internal part of the box. Opening any of these doors exposed the hydraulic ram.
The input door was interlocked and the hydraulic ram could not move in either direction when this was open. The output door was also interlocked but the ram could move forward (to eject the bale) when this is open. The machine was purchased second hand and came supplied with the interlocked switches on the input and output doors. No further modifications to this machine were made prior to the accident.
To strap the compressed product into a bale the side door was opened prior to the bale being ejected. This side door was not fitted with interlock switches. The ram could move in either direction with this door open. Once opened to strap the compressed product into the finished bale, the door could not be fully re-closed until the bale was ejected.
There was an administrative process by which, once the bale was strapped, employees were to close the door as far as possible before ejecting the bale and, once the bale had been ejected, they were to close the door fully before retracting the ram. The employees had been instructed in this administrative process.
On 25 September 2006 an employee was working with a fellow employee using the baling machine. While the fellow employee was at the output end of the machine moving a completed bale, (The output door was closed) the other employee was standing by the side door whilst the hydraulic ram retracted. The side door had not been closed. As the ram retracted pass the open side door the employee's right foot was crushed between the solid edge of the box part of the machine and the retracting ram. Two of his middle toes on the right foot were crushed. The damage to these toes could not be repaired and as a result of this injury these toes were surgically amputated.
The Accused later fitted an interlocked switch to the side door (similar to the 2 interlocked switches already on the machine). This interlocked switch prevented the ram from retracting when the side door was open, although it could still move forward to eject a strapped bale of product.
This was work performed by a shareholder of the Accused who was a qualified electrician. The cost of parts and labour was approximately $1700 and took approximately 5 hours to complete.
It was practicable for this door to have been guarded by an interlocked switch at all times, especially since the hazard and resulting injury had been recognised by the Accused as evidenced by the administrative procedure in place.
The Accused pleaded guilty.
|Court||Magistrates Court of Western Australia - Perth|
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