An Australian food manufacturer has been fined $60,000 over an incident that left a worker with a severed finger after it was caught in a machine.
Healthy Snacks Australia Pty Ltd pleaded guilty at the Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court to one count of failing to provide a safe system of work and proper instruction, training and supervision.
The incident happened on June 29 last year when the worker went to clean a processing machine – used to manufacture and pack health food bars – after production had finished.
The court heard the worker crawled under the machine to clean its rollers and that it was common practice for employees to remove guarding.
The machine remained switched on so the worker could clean the rollers while they were moving. It was during this time that the cloth became stuck between the rollers.
When she went to pull the cloth out, her other hand which was resting on the machine for balance, came into contact with the moving parts and the top of her middle finger was severed.
Magistrate Barrett fined the company $60,000 without conviction and order it pay $3430 in costs to WorkSafe.
WorkSafe’s Manufacturing, Logistics and Agriculture Acting Director, Mary Chojnacki said providing appropriate guarding was a fundamental requirement,” Ms Chojnacki said.