Introduction
Accused: A Bending Company Pty. Ltd. ABN / ACN: 053 180 573
Industry: Manufacturing, Logistics and Agriculture  Accused Type: Company (ACN)
Date of Offence: 26/05/2008 Date of Determination: 07/05/2010
Incident: Crush Injuries
Unguarded plant
Judge / Magistrate: Judge Lacava
Incident Summary: This is an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the public interest against a sentencing order made by the Dandenong Magistrates Court on 4 December 2009. On that day the defendant pleaded guilty to and was convicted of the charges and sentenced to pay an aggregate fine of $25,000 and $2787.52 costs. The DPP contended that the penalty was inadequate. A Bending Company Pty. Ltd. is involved in metal fabrication in the form of pipe bending, section rolling and welding, at its premises in Dandenong. There are two power presses at the site, the larger being a John Heine 203A Series 2 Power Press, fitted with tooling to bend 16mm diameter x 710mm length steel tubing. The operation of the press involved the steel tubing being fed through the front of the machine so the tubing could be bent in the middle. The press was operated by foot pedal. There was a fixed box type guard fitted to the sides of the John Heine press, however the front of the press had a hinged drop down door to allow the steel tube to be loaded into the forming dies. When the door was down not only could product be inserted but also the operator’s hand. There was no interlock system therefore when the door was in open position the press could still be activated. The company was well aware of the requirements for guarding, as the John Heine Press at the premises had been the subject of previous WorkSafe notices, and the company’s own risk assessment processes. Although the guarding on the John Heine press at the time of the incident was different to the guarding which was the subject of the previous WorkSafe directions, this was because the use of the press had varied. On 26 May 2008, a 16 year old employee was shown how to use the press with the drop down door in the open position and was not told to close the drop down door. He placed a length of pipe into the press with his left hand. As he was removing his hand from within the press to get another length of pipe he accidentally pressed the foot pedal which activated the press. The die component came down on his left hand before he could get his hand out. The employee suffered a crush injury to his left hand which required the surgical removal to the first joint of his 1st, 2nd and 3rd fingers, and injury to his 4th finger.
Court Number: AP-09-2701 Jurisdiction: County Court

Charges
Act & Section [Maximum Penalty] Count(s)
OH&S Act 2004 - s 21(1) & (2)(a) Employer failed to provide & maintain so far as was practicable for employees a safe working environment - plant & systems of work [1800 penalty units individual 9000 penalty units body corporate] Indictable offence triable summarily 1
OH&S Act 2004 - s 21(1) & (2)(e) Employer failed to provide & maintain so far as was practicable for employees a safe working environment - information instruction training & supervision [1800 penalty units individual 9000 penalty units body corporate] Indictable offence triable summarily 1
Plea: Guilty Fine: $70,000.00
Result: Conviction
Fine (Appeal allowed. Orders of the Magistrates’ Court set aside. Convicted and fined $35,000 on charge 1 and $35,000 on charge 2.Costs awarded to the VWA in the sum of $2,787.52)