Juice company fined $30,000 for unsafe machine

Lencia Fruit Juices Pty Ltd, which is in liquidation and did not attend the hearing at Mildura Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 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.”

To manage risks 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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