$80k fine after a workplace accident

A Lilydale food company has been fined $80,000 after a horrific accident, when a 500kg corn milling machine fell on to a worker, leaving them with “life-changing” injuries including a punctured lung and fractured ribs, leg, ankle and lower back.

Yarra Valley Snack Foods pleaded guilty to failing to provide or maintain safe systems of work at the Ringwood Magistrates’ Court on September 10.

WorkSafe have reported the court heard the corn milling machine, which weighed about 500kg, tipped and fell onto the worker after its roller wheels became jammed in a floor grate.

The 26-year-old worker was pinned when the machine was being moved for cleaning in February 2019.

The worker has not returned to work after suffering a punctured lung, deep lacerations, and fractured ribs, leg, ankle, and lower back.

WorkSafe Health and Safety executive director Julie Nielsen said inspectors found the company failed to reduce or eliminate the risk of injury by bolting the machine to the ground, implementing a standard operating procedure or installing a work platform next to the machine for cleaning.

Ms Nielsen said the worker’s life-changing injuries could have been avoided if there had been adequate control measures in place.

“This horrific incident is a reminder of what can happen when employers fail to make workers’ safety their number one priority,” Ms Nielsen said.

Source: Herald Sun

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