Toormina business prosecuted over a work experience injury in August, 2014.
Toormina business prosecuted over a work experience injury in August, 2014. Thinkstock

Business charged over work experience injury

A COFFS Harbour manufacturing business has been fined a quarter of a million dollars after a 17-year-old work experience student was injured in August 2014.

Located in Toormina, the business Thermal Electric Pty Ltd received the fine from SafeWork NSW after the student had the tips of two fingers crushed and amputated when his hand got caught in a brake press machine.

It was alleged the company failed to provide adequate guarding on the brake press machine.

The incident occurred while the work experience student was removing metal strips from the machine and inadvertently activated the machine's knife.

SafeWork NSW's investigation found the business had adjusted a setting on the machine's guarding system that would have prevented the machine from operating when objects such as arms and hands were in the vicinity.

Thermal Electric Elements Pty Ltd was found guilty in the New South Wales District Court and fined $250,000.

"Safety guarding is a very simple way to protect workers from being seriously injured or killed,” SafeWork NSW executive director Peter Dunphy said.

"This incident represents a major failure in workplace health and safety in relation to machine guarding.

"This has left a young worker with life-long injuries that may affect his future employment prospects.

"This court decision sends a strong message to the business community of the need to protect young and vulnerable workers so that tragic incidents like this do not occur.”



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