Worksafe inquiry into machine death

17-08-2010

WorkSafe VIC is investigating the recent death of a 34 year-old man who suffered head injuries while cleaning a machine at a poultry processing works in Laverton North in VIC.

“At this early stage, we believe the worker may have been caught up on a hook and chain system used for carrying birds around the factory,” WorkSafe’s Strategic Programs Director Trevor Martin said.

Mr Martin said inspectors had visited the workplace and inquiries are continuing.

The fatality was the15th traumatic work-related death in Victoria this year. There were 16 deaths at the same time last year.

“Machine guarding remains one of the state’s biggest workplace safety issues – and it’s a particular risk for cleaners,” Mr Martin said.

“Cleaners being pulled into machinery with exposed moving parts is a real issue – workers are being badly injured and dying. Employers and those with responsibilities for workers need to wake up and start managing the risks.

“If you manage, maintain or own machinery and equipment, you’ve got to make sure that all moving parts that can have contact with any part of the body have approved physical barriers or guards fitted.

“All staff, especially inexperienced workers, need to be trained and carefully supervised in the safe use of machinery and equipment.

“Energy sources must be identified and isolated before starting machinery maintenance or cleaning; and machinery and equipment should only be used as recommended by the manufacturer,” he said.

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