|Offender||Jeminex Brands & Operations Pty Ltd (ACN 001 428 815)|
|Charge||Charge Number||Offence Date||Date Convicted||Regulation||Section||Penalty Provision||Penalty Imposed||Date Sentenced|
|1||PE44797/11||3 March 2010||15th December 2011||19(1) 19A(3)||3A(2)(b)(i)||$20,000.00||15th December 2011|
|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, in contravention of section 19(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984
The Accused ran a business manufacturing wire rope slings and chain slings. The business was conducted at a premises located at 25 Furnace Road, Welshpool in the State of Western Australia (the Premises) and comprised of offices and a large factory workshop.
The Accused had 15 employees that worked at the Premises.
The manufacture of wire rope slings involves a process known as "swaging". Firstly, a wire rope is measured to the required length and a specific sized ferrule is selected according the diameter of the wire rope. A ferrule is an aluminium collar that fits over the wire rope.
The wire rope is fed through the ferrule, formed into a loop and fed back through the ferrule in the opposite direction.
The ferrule is then placed on to the bottom die in a wire rope press. A foot pedal is used to operate the press which causes the top die to come down towards the bottom die and compress the ferrule around the wire rope.
The Accused's process of determining the appropriate pressure to compress the ferrule required the wire press operator to visually determine when the two dies had touched, so that the ferrule was compressed from an oval shape into a circular shape, at which point the operator released the foot pedal and hence no further pressure was applied to the ferrule.
Operating the wire press in this manner was hazardous as it allowed an excess of pressure to be applied to the ferrule which caused the dies to press against each other. In those circumstances, the operator was at risk of sustaining injuries as a result of the dies shattering under the pressure.
On 3 March 2010, an employee of the Accused since November 2009, was swaging wire rope with a diameter of 12mm. The employee had swaged 2 wire rope ends in the manner described above, by visually determining when the dies touched. In addition, the employee had his left arm arching around the dies so that he could hold the looped end of the wire rope as the dies came together. As the employee swaged a third wire rope end the dies shattered and as a result the employee suffered laceration injuries to his left arm.
The dies shattered as a result of the application of excessive pressure.
The Accused had produced its own Work Instruction for Swaging Ferrules to Wire Rope dated 03/05 which provided "Set the pressure limit on the gauge as per the specifications on the chart attached to the press. Close dies, and increase pressure as required till dies are fully closed. Do not exceed pressure required for the pressing, as this could severely damage the dies or in extreme cases, could cause them to break, which can result in injury or death".
The maximum pressure applied by the wire rope press was able to be varied and set. For example, the operator could set the press to operate at a maximum of 5 mega pascals or 12 mega pascals. Once the press reached the maximum pressure set, no further pressure could be applied as the limit switch would be activated.
On 3 March 2010, the employee did not change and was not instructed to check or change the maximum pressure of the wire rope press. The wire rope press was set at a maximum pressure of 34 mega pascals.
The manufacturer of the wire rope press recommended, in its Operation Manual a pressure of 5 mega pascals to press a ferrule onto a rope of a diameter of 12mm. The Accused possessed a copy of that Operation Manual.
The chart of pressures on the side of the wire rope press was expressed in tonnes of pressure. Although the pressures stipulated in the chart calculate to similar pressures as those recommended by the press manufacturer, an operator of the press would only be able to apply the chart pressures if he could perform a conversion calculation. Therefore, the chart was of little or no assistance to the operator.
It was practicable for the Accused to have trained its employee to:
Operating the wire press in the manner described in the above paragraph would prevent an excess of pressure being applied to the dies.
The Accused failed to take either of the practicable measures contained in the above paragraph.
The Accused plead guilty and was convicted.
|Court||Magistrates Court of Western Australia - Perth|
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