Bakery fined after employee breaks arm in dough mixer

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Newform Holdings fined $9K for worker injury
Newform Holdings fined $9K for worker injury

Related tags Employment

Newform Holdings Pty has been fined AUS$9,000 after an employee’s arm was broken when it was trapped in a dough mixer.

The company, doing business as La Crust Bakery, also paid $900 in costs.

It pleaded guilty to failing to provide and maintain a safe workplace and was fined in Perth Magistrates Court last week.

A baker employed by Newform Holdings was mixing batches of dough using two commercial mixers in the food preparation area at the rear of the shop in August 2012.

Smaller mixed unguarded

The larger of the two mixers was fitted with an interlocking guard which cut the power to the mixer when the guard was raised. The smaller mixer was unguarded and fitted with a spiral mixing attachment.

When the dough in the smaller mixer was ready for baking, the employee turned the mixer off, but reached into the bowl with his left hand to remove the dough before the spiral mixer came to a complete standstill.

The attachment caught his left forearm and drew his arm further into the bowl and he pulled his arm upward to free himself from further entanglement.

The resulting injury was a fracture to the baker’s left arm that required surgery, after which he spent two days in hospital.

Importance of guarding moving machinery parts

Lex McCulloch, WorkSafe Western Australia commissioner, said it should serve as a further reminder of the importance of guarding the moving parts of machinery.

“Employers need to get the message that guarding is absolutely essential and that it is never safe to allow the moving parts of machinery to remain unguarded,” he said.

“It is worth reminding workers that they too have a responsibility for their own safety and the safety of those around them, but it is up to the employer to provide the safe work environment via safely guarded machinery.”

McCulloch said after the incident, a mixer guard was fitted to the machine that cost a little over $600 to supply and fit.

“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.

“Guarding of the dangerous moving parts of machinery is such a basic and easy precaution to take, and it really is time for employers to take a good hard look at the guarding situation and stop exposing employees to the risk of injury.”

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