McCain Foods (Australia) Pty. Ltd. has been convicted and fined $75000, plus costs, after pleading guilty to workplace health and safety breaches, this time at its Ballarat plant.
The company pleaded guilty to one charge laid under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 at the Ballarat Magistrates Court.
The court was told that on 27 September 2006, a maintenance mechanic employed by the company, was injured when attempting to repair a pizza crust shredder.
The shredder started unexpectedly whilst the worker was working on it.
The worker had one finger struck by the rotating blades, causing skin and flesh to be removed. He was taken by ambulance to the Ballarat hospital where he remained for three days.
McCain has been prosecuted five times previously including in 1983, 1986, 1991, 2002 and 2003.
Magistrate Stewart told the court that it was the responsibility of employers to ensure employees are not subject to risk in the workplace.
WorkSafe Victoria’s director of manufacturing, logistics and agriculture program, Ross Pilkington, said that it was crucial that all machinery in Victorian workplaces have adequate guarding in place and that all employees are trained and properly supervised.
“We have had laws about guarding machinery in this country for more than one hundred years and ignorance is clearly no excuse. All safety switches and processes for isolating machinery need to be clearly identified.”