skip navigation

Prosecution Details

Offender Industrial Progress Corporation Pty Ltd
Trading Name t/a Roofmart WA


Swipe to see more information
Charge Charge Number Offence Date Date Convicted Regulation Section Penalty Provision Penalty Imposed Date Sentenced
1 Unknown at time of publication 13 August 2007 16th September 2010 3A(3)(b)(i) $35,000.00 16th September 2010
Description of Breach(es)

Being and employer, failed to far as was practicable, to provide and maintain a working environment in which its employees were not exposed to hazards and by that contravention caused serious harm to its employee, contrary to section 19A(2) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984

Background Details

On 13 August 2007 an employee started work for the Accused. On that day he was shown how to use a large Wallbank machine press punching gutter corner plates from sheet metal. The press motor ran continuously when in operation, and power to the punch and die plates of the press was engaged as required by the release of an interlocked mechanism attached to the spring loaded guard on the front of the machine. As the guard was pulled down, the interlock was released and power was available to punch the sheet metal. The actual punching mechanism was then engaged by use of a foot pedal. This pedal was unguarded, however with the interlock properly engaged this pedal could not be depressed. Once the press had completed its press cycle the punch of the press moved up and the interlocked spring loaded guard was intended to follow this movement, allowing the operator to then reposition the sheet metal being pressed. The guard was then lowered, the interlock de-activated so the press could be energized and the foot pedal pressed to punch the next item.

Despite this being how the machine was intended to operate the guard did not extend as far as it could have leaving a gap that permitted a persons hand access to the plates of the press. Furthermore, the spring return on the guard had been adjusted so that the springs were not properly tensioned and the interlocking bar was not properly attached to the machine. The combined effect of this was that

  • 1. the guard did not fully prevent hand access to the punch and die of the press;
  • 2. the guard could be partially raised (thus permitting this hand access) before the interlock would engage; and
  • 3. as the interlock was not engaged the foot pedal could be depressed with the guard partially raised, thus causing the press to engage whilst the punch and die plates were not completely guarded.

Other presses at the workplace were fitted with guards that came down far enough to completely prevent hand access to press plates before the interlock was released.

The new employee was shown how to use the press by a fellow employee.  The new employee was also provided a copy of the Accused's occupational and safety handbook although this did not refer to the specific operation of these presses. 

The material the new employee was pressing became stuck on one of the press plates. The new employee did not raise the guard to remove the material but, because the guard did not fully depress, was able to reach under the guard to remove the stuck material. In this position the interlock was not engaged as it should have been whilst the new employee attempted to dislodge the jammed material with his hand. As the new employee did this he inadvertently activated the unguarded foot press engaging the press and crushing his right thumb. The tip of the new employee's right thumb was amputated.  

Outcome Summary

The Accused plead quilty.

Court Magistrates Court of Western Australia - Perth
Costs $1057.70

Search the records of all successful prosecutions taken by WorkSafe under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 since 1st January 2005. Searching and indexing of this database is limited to convictions for offences against the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 committed on or after 1 January 2005, when the statutory offence and penalty regimes were significantly amended.

Offences committed prior to 1 January 2005, while of limited comparative relevance, can be accessed via the following link.