Court Summary - at a glance
- Appropriately control the hazard, namely by fitting an adequate guard to the machine.
- Comply with the Australian standard AS4024 for guarding machinery namely to:
- Extend the chipper chute to 1500mm.
- Provide employees with dedicated push sticks to use when required to push smaller debris into the chipper.
- Train chipper operators on safe procedure when there is not a dedicated push stick available.
- Ensure that last chance cords and/or emergency stop devices were installed and operational on the chipper machine.
On 16 December 2013, the employee was working as part of a Treescape crew removing a roadside tree that was near power lined. He was the ground worker and was in charge of the operating the wood chipper. After the last large branches had been fed into the chipper, he noticed several small branches that had not been picked up by the in feed rollers. He used his right foot to kick the branches into the rollers. At the same time the left leg skidded on some loose gravel and his right foot was pulled in by the rollers towards the rotating chipper blades. His right foot was pulled into the chipper.
As a result of his injuries, his right leg had to be amputated to below the knee joint.