skip navigation

Prosecution Details

Defendant Donald William Draffin
Trading Name Finn - Ex Manufacturing 2003
Section 22(1)(a) and 22(5)
Offence Date Thursday, 4 March 2004
Description of Breach(es)

Being a person who has control of a workplace, where persons who are not employees of that person work, failed to take such measures as were practicable to ensure that the workplace was such that persons who were at the workplace were not exposed to hazards contrary to sections 22(1)(a) and 22(5) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.

Background Details

The accused operates a business that manufactures automotive exhausts at Bentley.

On or about 9 September 2003 the accused entered into an agreement with another agency whereby the accused would provide practical training and work experience to an apprentice metal fabricator indentured to the agency. The apprentice was to work at the workplace in Bentley under the day-to-day control of the accused. The agency was responsible for the payment of the apprentice's wages to him and the accused made payments to the agency. There was no contract of employment between the apprentice and any person on behalf of the accused.

On 4 March 2004 the apprentice was working at the workplace of the accused. As part of his duties that day he was required to use an item of plant known as a 'Bini' swaging machine. This plant was used to shape pipes and steel rods under pressure. On that date the moving parts of the clamping device of the plant were not guarded.

While the apprentice was involved in re-setting the 'Bini' swaging machine the clamping device of the swaging machine was activated unexpectedly. Upon this activation the apprentice's little finger of his right hand was caught in the clamping device and crushed to such an extent that he later required surgical amputation of the finger. If the clamping device of the swaging machine was guarded to prevent access between the moving parts by any body parts of persons operating the swaging machine, the serious injury to the apprentice could not have occurred.

Before 4 March 2004 the accused was well aware, or ought to have been well aware, that the unguarded clamping device on items of plant such as the 'Bini' swaging machine exposed persons who operated the plant to a risk of injury through body parts being caught between the moving parts of the clamping device. On or about 9 March 1999 an employee of a company of which the accused was at the relevant time, and is still, a Director, suffered a crush injury to his thumb when it became trapped in the unguarded clamping device of an identical item of plant.

After the injury to the apprentice occurred, the swaging machine was guarded so that body parts could not become caught between the moving parts of the clamping device. The guarding did not interfere with the proper working of the swaging machine.

The accused pleaded guilty.

Outcome Summary Convicted
Conviction Date 31 Jan 2006
Court Magistrates Court of Western Australia - Perth
Fine $5,000
Costs $1,533.22
Charge Number 9865/06