Fine after worker's finger tips amputated in guillotine

A Kilsyth metal fabrication company has been convicted and fined $25,000 after a worker had four fingers partially amputated while using an unguarded guillotine.


Collins Metal Fabrications Pty Ltd was sentenced last Thursday in the Ringwood Magistrates' Court after being found guilty of failing to provide a working environment that was safe and without risks to health and failing to provide or maintain plant or systems of work that were safe and without risks to health.

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

The court heard that in February 2022, the worker's fingers slipped and came into contact with the guillotine blade as he tried to free a piece of metal that had become stuck.

The tips of the worker's pointer and middle finger on each hand were amputated. The worker underwent emergency surgery but has permanent damage to his fingers.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Narelle Beer said the worker's life had forever changed due to the failure of his employer to install the required guarding.

"Installing and maintaining safety guarding on machinery is an absolute non-negotiable because without it, terrible and life altering outcomes, as in this case, can result," Dr Beer said.

"There is absolutely no excuse for an employer failing to protect workers from dangerous machinery and WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute those who do."

To manage risks when working with machinery and plant, 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.