A MACHINERY supplier has been fined $30,000 over equipment that caused a WA woodchipper operator to lose three fingers.CJD Equipment Pty Ltd was found guilty in the Perth Magistrates Court of failing to ensure a woodchipping machine was safe and, by that failure, seriously harming a worker.
In court yesterday the company was fined $30,000 and ordered to pay $12,000 in costs.
CJD Equipment had supplied a Peterson Pacific 5000 H mobile chipper to Softwood Logging Services Pty Ltd in Mount Barker in Western Australia's southwest with no guard on the overspout that held a rotating chipper disk.
In July 2008 a Softwood employee who was operating the chipper at a timber plantation, left the cab to clear a blockage from the overspout that ejected wasted material.
The court heard he was unaware that the chipper disk at the base of the overspout was still rotating.
His right hand was struck by the rotating disk, severing his index, middle and ring fingers and severely injuring his little finger.
WorkSafe WA Director of Policy and Education, Ian Munns, said the case sent a message about the importance of guards on machinery and the fact that responsibility for workplace safety was not limited to employers.
"It is up to the employer to ensure that workers receive instruction and training and observe the safe work practices that are in place, and the employer of the injured man has already been fined over this incident," he said.
"In this case, it would have been better to ensure that the machine was safe to operate in the first place, and that's where the supplier has to take responsibility."
Mr Munns said the chipper was supplied without guarding on the overspout over the rotating chipper disk, and it was clearly a breach of the supplier's obligation to protect operators from hazards.