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Prosecution Details

Defendant Brownbuilt Pty Ltd
Trading Name Brownbuilt Metalux Industries
Section 19(1)(a) and 19(7)
Regulation Not applicable
Offence Date Tuesday, 23 March 1999
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 employees were not exposed to hazards, contrary to section 19(1)(a) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984, and by that contravention caused serious harm to an employee; contrary to section 19(7) of the Act.

Background Details

On the 23 March 1999 the injured person was operating a John Heine power press to produce back arches for card cabinets. The job involved placing a 370mm x 13mm x 3mm strip of steel into a jig, pulling the guard down to release an interlock rod which prevented the machine's flywheel from rotating.

The employee activated the control pedal to allow the machine punch to descend and form the metal strip to the shape of the die. The metal strip then had to be rotated 180 degrees and replaced in the die to enable the opposite end to be formed to the desired shape. The employee raised the guard and was in the process of reversing the metal strip in the jig when the punch descended and crushed the fingers on his right hand, resulting in the amputation of the employees middle and ring fingers.

The prosecution alleged that the power press could have been fitted with an interlocking electrical switch to prevent the power press from being operated when the front guard of the power press was raised.

The defendant pleaded guilty. The penalty was imposed by His Worship S R Malley SM was under section 19(7) - $200,000 maximum penalty.

Outcome Summary


Conviction Date 28 Aug 2000
Court Perth Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $5,000
Costs $502.70
Charge Number 25766/00