Grocer fined after unsafe meat mincer injures worker

Minh Hung Pty Ltd was sentenced in the Sunshine Magistrates’ Court last Thursday after pleading guilty to a single charge of failing to provide or maintain safe plant and a single charge of failing to provide necessary information, instruction and training.

The company was also ordered to pay $3,756 in costs.

In June 2020, the worker was feeding meat into a mincer when her hand was dragged into the machine and crushed.

Despite the efforts of emergency services and subsequent surgery, the worker lost three fingers and part of a thumb as a result of the incident.

The court heard the mincer did not have a guard above the feed chute to prevent access to the danger area and the worker wasn’t provided with a plunger or other implement.

WorkSafe Director of Health and Safety Narelle Beer said simple safety measures could have prevented a life-changing injury to the worker.

“It’s just not fair that this injured worker and the colleagues who witnessed this awful incident now have to deal with the traumatic consequences of this company’s failure,” Dr Beer said.

“There is absolutely no excuse for employers who fail to ensure dangerous machinery is adequately guarded and their workers are properly trained in how to operate it safely.”

To manage risks when working with machinery employers should:

  • Identify hazards, assess the risks associated with them and eliminate or control those risks by isolating them or using an alternative.
  • Train staff in the safe operation of machines and equipment and provide written procedures in the worker’s first language.
  • Develop and implement safe operating procedures in consultation with employees and health and safety representatives.
  • Ensure safety guards and gates are compliant and fixed to machines at all times.
  • Regularly service and inspect machines and equipment.
  • Place signs on or near a machine to alert employees of the dangers of operating it.

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