The Limestone Building Blocks Company was fined $65,000 earlier this month, after a worker was seriously injured when he was trapped in a limestone block-making machine. The worker entered the block-making machine to remove a large lump of dry limestone aggregate when the machine started up after its sensor was triggered.
This resulted in serious injuries to the worker, including a severed foot, fractures to his spine, pelvis, ribs and left leg and internal organ damage.
An investigation by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety found that the safety system designed to prevent workers from entering the machine when powered had been circumvented. There was also meant to be a safety mesh attached, to prevent access to the block-making area; which was missing on the day.
The DMIRS director, Andrew Chaplyn, stated that “this incident could easily have been prevented if the company had taken some simple safety steps that were already known to them”, with another article stating that “…the company had since spent more than $1million improving its safety standards”.
One of these safety steps could have been ensuring all employees undergo a more thorough training process. “It’s not enough for a supervisor simply to have said ‘do not put your hands in there, that’s hazardous’”.
“It is a reminder of the extremely serious consequences when companies do not place safety as their highest priority,” Chaplyn said.
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