Cofield Wines owner fined after worker’s finger crushed in machine

A North East winery owner has been fined and ordered to pay costs of more than $12,500 after a worker badly injured his hand.

Damien Cofield faced the Wangaratta Magistrates Court last week after a Cofield Wines worker was injured at Wahgunyah.

The staff member had been using a machine on October 31, 2019.

The capping machine had a safety mechanism which did not engage when used in manual mode.

The employee was hospitalised after accessing the machine through a perspex door, badly damaging his finger.

“It was a traumatic injury and he has had to have much follow up treatment,” magistrate Ian Watkins said.

Cofield immediately took the injured man to hospital and the worker notified WorkSafe.

The court heard Cofield hadn’t notified the safety authority of the incident due to the worker making a notification.

He was charged with two health and safety offences, and failing to notify the authority.

Prosecutor Vijitha Sakjunanathan said adequate guarding was needed to prevent staff accessing dangerous parts of the capping machine, and said the business should have identified the risk.

The court heard Cofield had been co-operative with WorkSafe, took immediate steps to rectify issues and had no prior history.

The court heard he made significant contributions to the Rutherglen community including through charity work, particular for cancer related charities.

Mr Watkins said deterrence was an important consideration.

He ordered Cofield pay a $10,000 fine and $2564 in costs without conviction.

Source: Border Mail

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