Huge fine after employee’s hand was partially degloved

A company operating in Breakwater has copped a massive fine after an employee’s finger was partially degloved.

An international packaging supplier has copped a massive fine in court after an employee’s hand was partially degloved during a freak work accident at Breakwater.

Thermogard Pty Ltd, pleaded guilty in the Geelong Magistrates Court on Friday to failing to provide and maintain a working environment that was safe and without risk to health and were fined $25,000.

A production assistant’s hand was dragged into in-running rollers and trapped at its factory premises in Haworth Crt in Breakwater on June 7 in 2022.

The victim’s right little finger was partially degloved and his right middle finger was broken.

The court heard the skin on the victim’s finger had been pulled back and the bone was exposed.

In footage shown to the court, the victim was heard yelling in agony as soon as the accident happened.

WorkSafe prosecutor Leigh Crosbie told the court a roll of material which was being fed into a machine was smaller than usual, which resulted in a smaller offcut being produced.

“It also meant the cutting blade had to be adjusted a lot,” Mr Crosbie said.

At about 6.15pm, the employee and another person were attempting to correct an issue with the material travelling through the in-running rollers.

The victim then picked up a pair of scissors and reached into the rollers to cut the excess material.

Mr Crosbie said the machine then unexpectedly started which resulted in the employee’s hand becoming trapped.

The employee was transported to hospital and underwent surgery, however, one of the arteries in his finger could not be saved.

WorkSafe officers attended the incident and an investigation revealed that there was no guarding preventing access to the danger area while the machine was in operation.

Magistrate Franz Holzer fined the company $25,000 with no convictions and also ordered them to pay costs of $3227 to the Victorian WorkCover Authority.

“It’s an unfortunate situation plainly, it could have been so much worse,” Mr Holzer said.

Source: Geelong Advertiser

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