VIC: juice company fined $30,000 after worker’s hand injured

The following article is a news item provided for the benefit of members. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
Date: 
Thursday, 10 December, 2020 - 08:45
Category: 
Incidents & prosecutions
Location: 
Victoria

A Mildura drinks manufacturer has been convicted and fined $30,000 after a worker's hand was dragged into an unguarded bottling machine in June 2019.

Lencia Fruit Juices Pty Ltd, which is in liquidation and did not attend the hearing at Mildura Magistrates' Court, was found guilty of failing to provide or maintain plant that was, so far as reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.

The company was also ordered to pay costs of $1654.83.

The court heard the 33-year-old worker was operating the machine and reached in to remove empty bottles when his right hand became trapped. He suffered partial de-gloving, a burst tendon and nerve damage.

Lencia Fruit Juices had bought the second-hand machine earlier that month and there was no guarding to prevent workers becoming caught in the moving components.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said there was no room for complacency around high-risk hazards like moving machinery.

“This horrific incident could have been easily avoided if the company had put adequate guarding in place,” she said.

“Employers must ensure the safety of their workers is always their first priority.”