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Business fined after worker suffers hand injury

A manufacturing company has been fined $165,000 after a worker’s hand was partially severed when it was caught in a press.

Bullock MFG Pty Limited, a manufacturing business making sheet metal products for the air-conditioning industry, pleaded guilty in the District Court of NSW to a breach of section 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

On 31 August 2017, an inexperienced worker was using a die press machine when three of his fingers became caught in the machine.

The man was treated at the scene and taken to Auburn Hospital where he underwent surgery.  He sustained serious crush injuries to three fingers on his right hand which required amputation.

The court found, although the machine had finger guards, they were ineffective due to being improperly adjusted allowing access to moving parts.

The court also found the injured man was not provided with adequate training, instruction or information regarding operation of the machine press. There was also a lack of appropriate supervision and the company had no SafeWork procedure in place for the machine’s operation.

Valerie Griswold, SafeWork NSW Executive Director of Investigation and Enforcement said the case shows that companies must have the appropriate training for workers in place.

“Bullock did not conduct any documented training while the only training provided to workers was verbal and by physical instruction by a staff supervisor,” Ms Griswold said.

SafeWork NSW inspectors attended the site in response to the incident notification witnessed a demonstration of the press and observed the machine operating even though the front guard was partially open.

After the incident the company decommissioned and removed the press from its factory.

The company was convicted and fined $165,000 it was also ordered to pay court costs of $36,106.

The company is entitled to lodge an appeal in relation to the sentence.

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