|Offender||United Bonded Fabrics Pty Ltd (ACN 000 430 124)|
|Trading Name||t/as Tontine Fibres|
|Charge||Charge Number||Offence Date||Date Convicted||Regulation||Section||Penalty Provision||Penalty Imposed||Date Sentenced|
|1||FR9894/11||8 Sept 2008 to 27 Oct 2009 inc||11th January 2012||4.37(1)(f)||1.16(2)(b)(i)||$5,000.00||11th January 2012|
|2||FR9895/11||8 Sept 2008 to 27 Oct 2009 inc||11th January 2012||4.37(1)(h)||1.16(2)(b)(i)||$5,000.00||11th January 2012|
|3||FR9896/11||8 Sept 2008 to 27 Oct 2009 inc||11th January 2012||4.37(1)(h)||1.16(2)(b)(i)||$5,000.00||11th January 2012|
|Description of Breach(es)||
Charge 2 - Being an employer at a workplace, failed to ensure that every dangerous part of a fixed powered plant, was as far as practicable securely fenced or guarded in accordance with regulation 4.29; contrary to regulation 4.37(1)(f) of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 made under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.
Charge 3 & 4 - Being an employer at a workplace, failed to ensure, as far as was practicable, that a guard provided for the purpose of regulation 4.37 of the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 made under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 was kept in position while the plant was operated; contrary to regulation 4.37(1)(h) of the Regulations.
The Accused was a manufacturer of insulation and pillows from raw fibres, which operated a factory at Unit A0 - A1, 174 Barrington Street in Bibra Lake. The factory consisted of an area for production and another section consisting of an office and storage space. The production floor is made up of many items of plant for the insulation production (referred to as the ‘Bonded Line') and pillow production (referred to as the ‘Pillow Line'). There was also a Baling machine used to compress fibres into a bale for easy transport and removal.
The machines in the workplace were guarded and/or surrounded by cyclone fencing to prevent access whilst they were energised.
The Accused employed approximately 30 persons at the factory.
As part of the tasks of the employees on the Pillow Line, they were required to access a small half gate to feed the fibres coming out of the garnett machine up an incline called a camel back. The guarding of this area consists of a fixed fence on the bottom half and a gate on the top.
Employees open the gate and reach in with sticks to feed the fibres up the incline. The purpose of the half gate is to prevent access to the moving parts when the machine is moving, other than when employees are required to use the sticks to assist the fibres up the camel back. However, the half gate was regularly left open.
Measurements taken by a WorkSafe Inspector showed that, when standing at the fence, the distance from his shoulder to the upper cog was 310mm and to the lower cog was 460mm, so these moving parts were easily within reach of employees.
The hazard was demonstrated by two previous accidents at the workplace whereby different employees had suffered injury as a result of not using the sticks but reaching in with their hands to push fibres through instead.
The Baling Machine had an interlocked guard (door) on it for purpose of eliminating access to the dangerous moving parts of the machine. The interlock device on the door is designed to stop the Baling machine when opened and the interlock tripped.
On 14 September 2009, two WorkSafe Inspectors visited the workplace and observed the Baling Machine operating. The ram was able to be moved up and down with the lever, while the interlocked door was in the open position. On closer inspection, the interlock pin on the door was found to be broken (snapped off the door) and then placed back into the main interlock device, which allowed the ram to move up and down with the door open.
On 27 August 2009 two WorkSafe Inspectors visited the workplace and observed that in interlocked gate on the Bonded Line Garnett machine was open with the garnett machine and its parts still moving.
The interlock device on the gate is designed to stop the garnett machine when the gate is opened and the interlock tripped. However, it was identified that the interlock on the gate had been tampered with to allow the garnett machine to operate while the gate was open. A metal band that is a part of the interlock had been removed from the gate door and attached to the main part of the interlock on the gate post, with a cable tie.
The WorkSafe inspectors observed employees working inside the guarded area at the time, exposed to the risk of serious injury as a result of entanglement of body parts and/or clothing with the dangerous moving parts such as belts, rollers and pulleys on the garnett machine.
There had been previous accidents in November 2008 and then in April 2009 on the Bonded Line whereby different employees suffered injury as a result of having an arm and a finger caught in moving rollers.
The Accused plead guilty to 4 charges ( see other prosecution summary) and was convicted.
|Court||Magistrates Court of Western Australia - Fremantle|
|Costs||$1090.70 - shared costs with charge 1|
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