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Prosecution Details

Defendant Lempira Holdings Pty Ltd
Section 19(1) and 19(7)
Offence Date Tuesday, 17 December 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 and by that failure caused serious harm to an employee; contrary to Sections 19(1) and 19(7) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Background Details

The defendant operates a steel products manufacturing business trading from premises in Bassendean. The defendant trades as West Australian Steel Sales and Trading.

On 17 December 2002, a 16 year old employee, was using a manual 60 tonne Hydrabend brake press to make end caps. As part of that process the employee was required to feed sheet metal into the press to bend the metal in two places.

There was sufficient space at the front of the machine for both the metal and the employee's fingers to fit under the blade of the press. This front trapping space was normally guarded by a light guard. A light guard is a presence sensing device that stops the machine from operating if part of a person is within the sensing field of the device. The light guard had not been operating for two weeks. In that time the press was used regularly.

The employee had made several end caps and was in the process of feeding another sheet of metal into the press when his hands were caught beneath the blade of the press. The employee's injuries included partial amputation of his left ring, middle and index fingers. Further his right middle and index fingers were crushed.

The employee had only been employed by the defendant for a week and had not used this type of plant before starting work with the defendant. In that time he had used the press on several occasions for brief periods.

Following the accident arrangements were made to repair the light guard that afternoon.

The defendant pleaded guilty.

The defendant had one prior conviction, charge PE 49228/93, which was a charge that the defendant failed to ensure that every dangerous part of a John Heine 203A press was securely guarded.

Outcome Summary Convicted
Conviction Date 06 Jul 2004
Court Perth Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $30,000
Costs $607.70
Charge Number 6624/04