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News headings from LabourStart


WA Worker Lost Three Fingers

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A Western Australian employer, whose associated company had been issued with numerous guarding related improvement notices, has been fined after a worker’s fingers were amputated in an unguarded auger.

GP Mackie and Co and company director Peter Gilbert pleaded guilty to breaching the State OSH Act in failing to provide a safe working environment, and were fined $25,000 and $10,000 respectively.

The Moora Magistrates Court heard that in May 2012, a GP Mackie employee was working alone on a New Norcia cattle and hay farm when he reached into an auger hopper to remove a piece of rock and the middle three fingers on his left hand were partially amputated.

At the time of the incident, a guard had been removed to make it easier for fertiliser to pass through the hopper.

The Court found the director knew the guard was missing, and that WorkSafe WA inspectors issued GP Mackie’s sister company – which shared the same directors and workplace – with 10 improvement notices relating to guarding issues in the four years to 2009.

"Subsequent to this incident, the employer installed a guard on the auger that was made from scrap materials and so cost very little,"WorkSafe Commissioner Lex McCulloch said after the decision.

"If this had been done earlier, this incident would not have occurred and the employee involved would have been spared a great deal of suffering," he said.