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Court Summary - at a glance
- Install fixed guards and/or perimeter fences to prevent access to mechanical trapping and entanglement hazards created by the operation of the chain and sprocket transmission drives;
- Install a timed interlocked device on the fixed guard and/or perimeter gate. A timed interlocked guard would cut the power to the machine if the guard or gate was opened and would prevent access to the chain and sprocket transmission drives until after they had de-energised and stopped moving;
- Ensure an effective system is in place for identifying and controlling hazards, including investigating accidents and near-misses, and undertaking regular checks and audits;
- Implement a documented Safe Operating Procedure that included the steps to be taken in the event of a timber jam; and
- Ensure staff are trained and supervised in the use of lock-out procedures when clearing timber jams and/or repairing and maintaining machinery.
At the time of the incident the subject of the s6 charge, the victim was assisting a colleague by turning and repositioning timber at the juncture between the sideboard conveyor outfeed and the transfer conveyor on the main sawmill line. He noticed a piece of wood jamming the sideboard conveyor outfeed’s paddle switch. He reached underneath the chain driving the last roller of the sideboard conveyor outfeed to free the wood jamming the paddle switch when the wood suddenly freed itself.
The victim’s hand was caught by the chain and drawn into the rotating drive socket resulting in the amputation of four fingers and the tip of his thumb on his right hand.
In addition to this incident, the Defendant failed to notify the Regulator of two previous incidents resulting in serious harm to its employees as required by section 25(3) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.
• Sections 25(3)(a) and 50(1)(b) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
• Sections 25(3)(a) and 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992