Today the importance of workplace machinery was highlighted by WorkSafe. In a new precedent Lyttelton Port, a company was fined $75,000 for not ensuring that machinery was maintained to the manufactures instructions.
WorkSafe’s Chief inspector, Keith Stewart said after the sentencing that any company to use machinery at their workplace must ensure the machinery is maintained according the manufactures instructions and must have an effective system in place to identify faults.
“If faults are discovered, they must be documented, the machine taken out of service for assessment and workers advised of the faults and whether or not the machinery can be used”
Importantly the Cherry Picker, the machinery in question had not caused any worker to be injured but failings in the company’s management of the cherry picker had resulted in the fine.
The company had been charged under Section 6 of the Health and Safety in employment Act 1992
- being an employer, failed to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employees, while at work, in that it failed to take all practicable steps to ensure that its employees were not exposed to hazards relating to the ATB46n Snorkel Boom (known as a Cherry Picker).
The maximum fine under Section 6 is $250,000
The WorkSafe investigation found the practicable steps available to LPC in order to ensure its own employees safety included:
- Ensuring that daily pre-start up checks of the cherry picker were undertaken;
- Ensuring that they had in place an effective system for identifying new hazards and machinery faults and ensuring that they were addressed in a timely manner;
- Ensuring that machinery with identified faults was taken out of service until such time as it had been assessed by an appropriately qualified person, repaired if necessary, and deemed safe for use;
- Ensuring that they had systematic approach to ensuring that all machinery, and in particular the cherry picker, was maintained in accordance with its operating manual;
- Ensuring that identified faults or problems were documented and that the appropriate action was taken (including but not limited to the removal of the machine from service, inspection by a competent person, and repair or replacement if required);
- Ensuring that all personnel were aware of the machinery’s faults and whether or not it could be used at any given time.
It is therefore essential that a solid system in in place to manage and record any machinery maintenance and incidents, failure to prove and take appropriate measures can lead to prosecution regardless of if an incident has occurred.
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Zero Harm Farm Team