Bakery fined $9000 over arm injury to employee

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Employee / workerEmployer

An Applecross bakery has been fined $9000 (plus more than $900 in costs) over an incident in which an employee’s arm was broken when it was trapped in a dough mixer.

Newform Holdings Pty Ltd – trading as La Crust Bakery – pleaded guilty to failing to provide and maintain a safe workplace and was fined in the Perth Magistrates Court last week.

In August 2012, a baker employed by Newform Holdings was mixing batches of dough using two commercial mixers in the food preparation area at the rear of the shop.

The larger of the two mixers was fitted with an interlocking guard which cut the power to the mixer when the guard was raised.  The smaller mixer was unguarded and fitted with a spiral mixing attachment.

When the dough in the smaller mixer was ready for baking, the employee turned the mixer off, but reached into the bowl with his left hand to remove the dough before the spiral mixer came to a complete standstill.

The attachment caught his left forearm and drew his arm further into the bowl and he pulled his arm upward to free himself from further entanglement.

The resulting injury was a fracture to the baker’s left arm that required surgery, after which he spent two days in hospital.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch said today the case should serve as a further reminder of the importance of guarding the moving parts of machinery.

“Employers need to get the message that guarding is absolutely essential and that it is never safe to allow the moving parts of machinery to remain unguarded,” Mr McCulloch said.

“It is worth reminding workers that they too have a responsibility for their own safety and the safety of those around them, but it is up to the employer to provide the safe work environment via safely guarded machinery.

“Subsequent to this incident, the employer had a mixer guard fitted to the machine that cost a little over $600.00 to supply and fit.

“If this had been done earlier, this incident would not have occurred and the employee involved would have been spared a great deal of suffering.

“Guarding of the dangerous moving parts of machinery is such a basic and easy precaution to take, and it really is time for employers to take a good hard look at the guarding situation and stop exposing employees to the risk of injury.”

Further information on machinery guarding can be obtained by telephoning WorkSafe on 1300 307877 or on the website at www.worksafe.wa.gov.au.

Media contact: Caroline De Vaney 6251 2363 or 0408 927563 (media enquiries only)

Caroline.devaney@commerce.wa.gov.au

Follow @WorkSafeWA on Twitter

 

WorkSafe
Media release
26 Sep 2014

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