Workplace injuries can land your company in trouble - Australian Wills and Estate Law
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Workplace injuries can land your company in trouble

Recent court decisions have highlighted the importance of safety in workplace kitchens. The handling of sharp knives, graters and things such as food processors and stoves present many dangers if not handled properly. If equipment is not guarded or the appropriate measures are not taken when cleaning utensils and equipment, your company could land itself in serious trouble.

Knowing how to prevent injury and the procedures that should be put in place to insure that the risk of injury is reduced is important for the success of your business.

Keep your staff safe in the work kitchen

Examples of safety incidents

There was recently an incident involving an unguarded crumb auger where a woman was evidently untrained, nor had she been informed about the equipment. This lack of information led to the woman her sustaining deep lacerations to her hand when cleaning the crumb auger. In this incident, the offender pleaded guilty and still received a $30,000 fine as well as costs for the injury.

There was also another incident involving an unguarded piece of kitchen equipment when a worker was cleaning a conveyor belt. This conveyor belt did not have adequate measures in place to stop workers from engaging in dangerous behaviour with an unguarded rotating drive as well as no barrier to stop them accessing the underneath of the conveyor belt. The worker, cleaning the equipment at the time with the belt running, reached down to collect something that had fallen underneath the conveyor belt subsequently getting her hair caught in the rotating drive, having her hair scalped and losing an ear. This failure to implement proper safety precautions and barriers led to a $50,000 fine for the offender.

How to stop this happening to your business

Conducting some regular, basic safety measures in the workplace prior to commencing work will significantly reduce the risk of injury. conduct a simply risk assessment of the workplace and ensure that machinery cannot be operated whilst it is being cleaned as well as implementing control measures to stop entanglement, shearing or crushing from the machinery.

All dangerous areas should be guarded as should any moving parts to avoid any injury. Arguably the most important point is that workers should be well trained, informed and instructed on the dangerous of the machinery they will be operating or cleaning. This means outlining the required safety procedures prior to operating and cleaning as well as providing a safe area to do so such as isolating the machine from others to avoid unwanted involvement leading to injury.

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