We have accepted an enforceable undertaking from Fresh Link Limited after an incident on 7 August 2017.
On 7 August 2017, the victim was hand-cutting vegetables and feeding them into the hopper at the top of a machine to be diced. He needed to open the machine to access the dicing blades for cleaning so he could process a different type of vegetable. He turned the machine off using the on/off switch and opened the cover to the side of the machine. The interlock switch should have prevented the machine from restarting until the cover was closed. He spun the rotating wheel with his left hand while hosing it down with his right hand (the usual procedure). The wheel came down but did not stop rotating and within seconds the rotating wheel and blades were spinning at full speed. He pulled his hand out of the machine and saw that his glove was cut and that the tips of his fingers were missing.
Sections 36(1) (a), 48(1) & 2(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
Summary of Enforceable Undertaking
Fresh Link Limited will:
- Provide amends in the form of payment to the victim
- Undertake a range of workplace health and safety (H&S) training and improvement initiatives
- Employ a dedicated H&S advocate
- Share lessons; resources; and training with industry
- Make an appropriate charitable donation
This enforceable undertaking has a total expenditure of at least $180,000
Reasons for Accepting the Undertaking
The alleged contravention does not amount to an offence against section 47 (reckless conduct) which would preclude it from being accepted.
The enforceable undertaking meets the requirements of WorkSafe’s E nforceable Undertakings Operational Policy (July 2017); noting:
- The nature of the proposals in the application and the benefits that would be realised to the health and safety system from them
- The activities in the enforceable undertaking should provide long-term sustainable health and safety improvements in the workplace, industry, and community.
- The nature of the alleged contravention and how serious it was
- Workers were exposed to the risk of serious injury.
- Information received from any interested party in relation to the contravention.
- Mitigation and remedial action, already taken, or planned, regarding both the contravention and any person affected by the contravention (including victims).
- The person’s past performance and history of compliance with health and safety legislation
- This is satisfactory.
- Any likely outcome if the matter were dealt with by legal proceedings.
- A charge was filed in relation to this incident on the basis that there was both evidential sufficiency, and a public interest in initiating prosecution. A successful prosecution outcome may have resulted.
- Any other matter which WorkSafe thinks is relevant.
- The undertaking delivers benefits beyond compliance.
- The undertaking offers sufficient benefit to the workplace, industry and community to offset the seriousness of the offending.
- The undertaking contains acceptable terms.
- The undertaking accounts for the benefits that accrue to Fresh Link Limited by a prosecution not proceeding.
15 November 2018