Dollar Sweets Company Pty. Limited (“the defendant) is a company involved in the manufacture of diverse range of products from cake decorations to confectionery.

On 23 May 2014 an employee of the defendant was operating an item of plant known as a cake top extruder. One of the danger areas of the plant was a chute along which ingredients were processed. A pneumatic piston forced ingredients along the chute. A small opening in the chute allowed plant operators to observe for blockages; the opening was guarded by a removable funnel-shaped flange. There was a risk of serious injury to employees as the flange guard could be removed, fully exposing the piston which remained energised.

A blockage occurred in the chute, and the employee removed the flange and used a screwdriver to poke at the blockage and clear it, successfully. Moments later, when another blockage occurred, the flange had not been replaced. The employee reached into the danger area at which point his left hand became entangled with the pneumatic piston. The employee suffered amputation and de-gloving injuries to his fingers. The defendant pleaded guilty and was, without conviction, sentenced to pay a fine of $25,000 and to pay costs of $3,895. (Dandenong Magistrates’ Court)

Fine: $25,000.00

Costs: $3,895.00

Published: 21/10/2015

Category: Guarding; Inexperienced employee; Unguarded plant; Failure to provide and maintain plant; Failure to provide a safe working environment

Source: WorkSafe Victoria