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Prosecution Details

Defendant Bushmills Holdings Pty Ltd
Trading Name Bushmills Timber
Regulation 4.37(1)(b)
Offence Date Wednesday, 5 April 2000
Description of Breach(es)

Being an employer, failed to provide measures to prevent, as far as was practicable, the use of plant, namely a butt joining machine, in a manner that could render that plant a hazard to a person at the workplace.

Background Details

The defendant operates a timber yard. An employee, who had been employed for approximately four weeks at the time of the accident, was injured whilst operating a butt joining machine.

The butt joining machine is a press with a top plate that is attached to a hydraulic ram, which is used to join timber (refer to photo of machine, before it was guarded). In order to make the ram descend it is necessary to press two buttons at the same time, which, because of the distance separating them, require the use of two hands. The ram stops if either button is released. The injured person had made the ram descend by pressing both buttons. He then took his right hand off the right hand button and was adjusting the timber when the ram ascended and his arm became trapped between the ram plate and the body of the butt joining machine.

The employee suffered severe crush injuries to his hand and forearm, including fractures and damage to his veins, which required a vein graft to repair.

The hazard was easily eliminated. After the accident the defendant installed a guard, which is attached to the plate that prevents an arm being placed between the ram plate and the body of the machine (see photo of guarded machine).

The defendant pleaded guilty.

Outcome Summary convicted
Conviction Date 28 Feb 2001
Court Armadale Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $4,000
Costs $377.70
Charge Number 1950/01