Meatworks fined for arm injury

The meatwork’s owner Tasman Group Services Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to failing to ensure an employee was safe from injury and failing to ensure the machine was fitted with lock-off controls.
Nanjing Night Net

The maximum fine allowable was $150,000 for the first charge and $15,000 for the second.

The Launceston Magistrates Court heard that Peter Brown, 58, was using welding equipment to fix the conveyor on November 14, 2003.

He had removed his mask and a co-worker thought he had finished the repairs and signalled for another man to start the machine.

At the same time, Mr Brown reached between the rollers to extinguish a small fire caused by welding slag and his right arm was dragged in and snared.

Mr Brown’s wrist and forearm were crushed.

His injuries were serious and permanent.

Mr Brown is still employed at the meatworks but will never be able to return to his former role.

Workplace Standards prosecutor Graeme Williams said the conveyor had several switches that could start and stop the machine, but none had locking devices.

Magistrate Peter Wilson imposed the same fine he gave the Lactos cheese factory for a similar incident in 2001 where a man injured his leg.

He said Tasman Group Services had a high level of culpability as it knew of the machine’s dangerous condition from a safety audit commissioned by the previous owner.

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