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Court Summary - at a glance
1. Have a competent person carry out a risk assessment of the machine;
- The Defendant should have ensured that a person competent in machine safety carried out a risk assessment of the machine to ensure that all dangerous aspects were adequately identified and managed.
2. Identify the entanglement hazard that the rotating mechanical stirrer on the machine presented;
3. Adequately guard the machine to isolate workers from the rotating mechanical stirrer;
- The Defendant should have had either a fixed or interlocked guard over the top of the hopper to ensure that they could not access the moving parts
4. Develop a safe system of work for the operation of the machine including a procedure for scraping the sides of the hopper;
- Operating procedures and training documentation should have clearly set out how the hopper was to be scraped safely, including the need to lockout energy sources.
- If the Defendant’s intention was that the hopper wasn’t to be scraped down by workers, workers should have been clearly informed of this and also of the process to follow when product was running low.
The victim had been employed by the defendant for 26 years as a packer and process worker.
On 13 April 2016 the victim was working as the second operator on a machine used to fill tubes with cosmetic product. The machine had a large hopper on the top of it with a long metal stirrer inside. There was no guard covering the top of the hopper.
The victim noticed the product in the hopper was low. With the machine still running she inserted a spatula into the hopper to scrape the product downward. The right sleeve of her jacket became entangled in the clamp of the moving stirrer.
The victim suffered mid-shaft radius and ulna fractures to her right forearm. She required four surgeries including the insertion of plates and screws.