Snack food maker fined $80,000 for workplace incident

Friday, 18 September, 2020

Snack food maker fined $80,000 for workplace incident

WorkSafe Victoria has reported that Yarra Valley Snack Foods Pty Ltd has been convicted and fined $80,000 after a worker suffered serious injuries when he was pinned under a corn milling machine in February 2019.

The court heard that the 26-year-old worker suffered multiple injuries when the machine tipped and fell on him when its roller wheels became jammed in a floor grate as it was being moved for cleaning.

WorkSafe inspectors found the company had failed to reduce or eliminate the risk of injury by bolting the machine to the ground, implementing a standard operating procedure for cleaning, or installing a work platform next to the machine for cleaning.

The company pleaded guilty to failing to provide or maintain safe systems of work. It was sentenced in the Ringwood Magistrates' Court on 10 September 2020.

The regulator said this incident could have been avoided if there had been adequate control measures in place. Its advice for cleaning plant and equipment safely includes:

  • Undertake a risk assessment to identify any hazards and assess how to remove or control them.
  • Have a documented procedure in place, including on how to power down and isolate equipment.
  • Ensure machines are powered down, fully secured and stable before cleaning begins.
  • Ensure machinery is properly guarded and safety interlocks are regularly checked.
  • Ensure workers are properly trained and supervised so they understand the procedure and the risks associated with the plant and equipment being cleaned.

Image credit: ©

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