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Prosecution Details

Offender Softwood Logging Services Pty Ltd (ACN 119206003)


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Charge Charge Number Offence Date Date Convicted Regulation Section Penalty Provision Penalty Imposed Date Sentenced
1 AL306/11 11 July 2008 14th March 2011 3A(3)(b)(i) $15,000.00 14th March 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 by the use of plant, namely a mobile chipper; contrary to section 19(2) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984, and by that contravention caused serious harm to an employee, contrary to section 19A(2) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Background Details

Just after sunrise, on 11 July 2008, an employee of the Accused, was operating a chipper, Peterson Pacific 5000 H mobile chipper ("the Chipper") at the Oriole Plantation in the Shire of Plantagenet.  It was a wet and windy morning.

During operation of the Chipper, the overspout (which is designed to eject oversized wood from the Chipper) of the chipper became blocked and the employee left the cab of the Chipper to clear the blockage from the overspout. There was build up of debris at the base of the overspout and the employee reached in with his right hand to remove the build up.  He was unaware as he was clearing the blockage that the chipper disk (at the base of the overspout) was still rotating.  The employee's right hand was struck by the rotating chipper disk and his index, middle finger and ring fingers were amputated and his fifth finger was severely injured, thereby suffering permanent damage.  He had not been instructed how to clear blockages in the Chipper safely.

There was no guard in place on the overspout to prevent contact with the rotating chipper disk.  Shortly after the incident the Accused installed a guard on the overspout.

Outcome Summary

Plead Guilty

Court Magistrates Court of Western Australia - Perth
Costs $567.20

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