|Defendant||Urbanstone Pty Ltd|
|Section||19(1) and 19(7)|
|Offence Date||Monday, 7 July 2003|
|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 in contravention of Section 19(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and by that contravention caused an employee serious harm; contrary to Section 19(7) of the Act.
The defendant manufactures concrete block pavers at its premises in Jandakot. The defendant employs 20 people to operate its several automatic paver manufacturing machines.
The injured employee was one such worker and had been employed by the defendant for about 4 months. He had learned how to use the machine on the job from a fellow worker.
The machines operate in the following way. A hopper pours concrete into a product mould. The flow of concrete from the hopper is controlled by a sliding valve which opens and closes to regulate the flow of concrete. The moulded pavers are then carried away by a conveyor system.
Excess slurry from the hopper spills over from the mould into slurry boxes on either side of the machine. A scoop is used by machine operators to return the slurry from the slurry boxes to the hopper. The scoop rested on the side of the machine but due to the vibrating movement of the machine it was not uncommon for the scoop to fall into the machine itself. This is what happened on 7 July 2003.
The scoop came to rest on a tray below the slurry boxes but above the conveyor system.
The paver manufacturing machine was not properly guarded. The scoop should not have been able to fall into the machine so easily. Workers should not have been able to so easily access the moving parts of the machine. Soon after the accident proper guards were installed on the machines.
The defendant pleaded guilty.
|Conviction Date||12 Oct 2004|
|Court||Fremantle Court of Petty Sessions|