Ag company fined $140,000 after worker death

A Montmorency agricultural manufacturing company has been convicted and fined $140,000 over an incident which killed a worker who was struck on the head by a metal rod.
News article published

Friday 09 Nov 2012

Industries and topics
  • Manufacturing

TCMH Holdings Pty Ltd pleaded guilty at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday to one count of failing to provide or maintain a safe system of work and one count of failing to provide information, instruction or training to its employees.

The incident happened on 19 April 2010 at the company’s Thomastown factory. A worker was using a lathe to machine a metal rod which was spinning around 1050 times per minute.

The court was told the rod was protruding from the machine by more than a metre when it struck a nearby worker.

WorkSafe’s investigation found no guard was in place to cover the protruding piece of metal and that the machine’s operator hadn’t received proper instruction, supervision and training.

Magistrate Jack Vandertseen fined the company $70,000 on each charge and ordered it to pay $10,000 in legal costs.

WorkSafe Regional Director, Shane Gillard, said proper guarding was a simple, cheap and effective solution that went a long way.

“Machines are essential to businesses but the risks must be controlled,” he said.

“Prevention begins with understanding the risk and what can be done to prevent it. It’s achieved by ensuring people are properly trained and supervised and that appropriate guards are in place at all times.“

WorkSafe recently launched a public awareness campaign targeting dangerous machines, calling on businesses to do all they can to make machines safer.

WorkSafe statistics show that of the nearly 11,000 injuries caused by dangerous machines over the past five years, 71 per cent were in the manufacturing, construction, transport, warehousing and storage industries.