Source: WorkSafe Victoria
A Geelong business has been convicted and fined $6000 over an incident that left a chef with a broken arm after her sleeve became caught in an unguarded machine.
GT 10 Geelong Pty Ltd, which operates "The Groove Train" restaurant in Geelong, was fined in the Geelong Magistrates' Court yesterday after it pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe plant to its employees.
The court heard the chef was preparing pizza dough using a large unguarded mixer on 2 August 2010 when her sleeve became caught in the machine's rotating hook.
The worker's arm became trapped in the machine while it continued to operate and was switched off by nearby colleagues after they heard the chef's plea for help.
The worker suffered a broken left arm, muscle damage and was unable to work for four weeks.
A WorkSafe investigation found the mixer had originally been fitted with a guard and a cut-off switch design to activate when the lid was raised, but it had broken off two weeks prior to the incident.
It was possible for someone to put their hands into the bowl while the machine was operating and the dough hook was rotating. The employer allowed the unguarded machine to remain in use, the court was told.
The investigation also found employees did not receive adequate training on how to properly use the machine. The court heard the company installed a replacement guard immediately after the incident.
WorkSafe's Operations General Manager, Lisa Sturzenegger, said guarding on machinery was an essential component that kept workers safe.
"Unfortunately, we often hear of workers being pulled into machinery and suffering horrific injuries," she said.
"Such incidents can easily be avoided if workplaces ensure machines have appropriate guarding and that staff are trained in how to operate equipment."
"Not only does equipment maintenance often come at little to no cost, but it ensures workers get to go home safe at the end of the day."
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