skip navigation

Prosecution Details

Defendant Stefanelli Sawmillers Pty Ltd
Trading Name Not Applicable
Section 19(1)(a) and 19(1)(6)
Regulation Not Applicable
Offence Date Monday, 4 May 1998
Description of Breach(es)

Being an employer, failed so far as was practicable to provide and maintain a working environment in which its employees were not exposed to hazards and in particular failed to provide and maintain plant such that, so far as was practicable, its employee, was not exposed to a hazard.

Background Details

A 20 year old labourer/sawmill hand, received amputation to two of his fingers on his left hand while operating an electrically powered cross cut saw at the defendants workplace.

The saw was operated by the application of a foot pedal which caused the circular saw blade to emerge from a box like housing cutting the timber placed on the working area immediately in front of the blade. A mesh guard guarded the region where the circular saw blade emerges. The employee was docking sawn timber at marked chalk lines so as to provide clean cut ends on the timber. When attempting to cut the ends off two pieces of timber he placed both his arms in through an opening at the end of the mesh guard.

The chalk line was about half an inch from the end of the timber leaving little clearance between his fingers and the intended path of the saw blade. He removed his right hand and depressed the foot pedal prior to removing his left hand from the timber. This action resulted in the saw blade emerging cutting the timber and two of his fingers. The guarding arrangement for the saw was ultimately found to be inadequate and the defendant convicted.

The defendant pleaded not guilty. The penalty was imposed under section 19(1)(6).

Lead Image
Outcome Summary


Conviction Date 14 Oct 1999
Court Midland Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $1,000
Costs $465
Charge Number 3464/99