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Prosecution Details

Defendant Auswest Timbers Pty Ltd
Section 19(1) and 19(6)
Offence Date Friday, 9 August 2002
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; contrary to Sections 19(1) and 19(6) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Background Details

The defendant is a company that at the material time operated a timber mill at Lot 1 Bussell Highway Busselton.

On 9th August, an employee was required to operate a Sheng Feng rising blade docking saw located at the workplace. The saw had been modified by the defendant such that a pneumatic control lever valve and lever assembly were positioned on the top of the work surface of the saw to enable manual operation. At approximately 8.30 am, the employee was engaged in cutting lengths of wood using the saw. The employee does not recall exactly what occurred but the next thing he knew the clamp descended onto his right hand and the blade ascended, severing his right hand completely through the metacarpals.

Upon inspection of the workplace, WorkSafe inspectors found that the operating lever of the saw was not guarded in that there were no barriers to prevent inadvertent contact with the control lever. A guard was subsequently installed on 12 August 2002 by an employee of the defendant for a cost of $100.

Outcome Summary GUILTY
Conviction Date 01 Jun 2004
Court Bunbury
Fine $15,000
Costs $1,337.70
Charge Number 171/04