Melbourne Meat Processor Fined After Worker's Hand Amputated

Fined $90,000

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Melbourne meat processor JBS Australia has been fined $90,000 after a worker's hand was amputated by a factory machine.

Melbourne Magistrates Court was told the man was working on a production line to remove hides from sheep carcasses in November 2017, when a chain he had wrapped around his wrist became entangled with a machine, dragging him in and severing his wrist and hand.

Just before the incident the primary hide puller had missed a number of carcasses and there were hectic scenes as workers quickly attached chains or straps to the backup hide puller, while leaving the machine running.

Following the incident JBS Australia decommissioned the back-up hide puller and invested in new machinery.

On August 8, JBS Australia was fined $90,000 after pleading guilty to a single charge of failing, so far as is reasonably practicable, to provide a safe working environment that was without risk to health.

"This worker suffered an horrific, life-changing injury while operating hazardous machinery because a safe system of work was not in place," WorkSafe executive director of health and safety Julie Nielsen said.

"Employers must ensure the safety of their workers is always their first priority."

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15 August 2019

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