Crushed hand leads to $40,000 fine

A Dandenong South health supplements manufacturer has been convicted and fined $40,000 after a worker’s hand was crushed between two rollers.


Cosmax NBT Australia Pty Ltd pleaded guilty on Tuesday in the Dandenong Magistrates' Court to failing to provide a working environment that was safe and without risks to health for not ensuring adequate guarding around moving machine parts.

The company was ordered to pay $1875 in costs.

In September 2018, a labour hire employee was feeding gel sheets through a machine to press pill capsules, when his left hand was caught and dragged into a series of rollers.

He was taken to hospital with serious laceration and crush injuries to his left hand.

The court heard guarding around the roller would have been reasonably practicable to prevent entanglement injuries.

Cosmax NBT Australia had a total of six encapsulation machines that had no guarding around running rollers.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said workers were too often exposed to the well-known dangers of moving machinery.

"Injuries to workers entangled or crushed in machines can be devastating and this horrific incident would have been prevented had the company put guarding in place to deal with an obvious hazard."

"Employers must ensure they assess all the risks in their workplace and do everything reasonably practicable to protect their workers or WorkSafe will take enforcement action."

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.