Dubbo farming company fined $180,000 after worker became trapped in machine

A Dubbo company which produces farm animal feed has been fined $180,000 after a worker became entangled in a machine, seriously injuring his hand.

On 14 October 2016, a worker for Macquarie Milling Pty Ltd was using a chaff cutting machine when the machine became blocked with hay.

As the worker tried to clear the obstruction his jumper became caught in an unguarded part of the machine, causing his clothing to wrap tightly around his neck and a deep cut, causing tendon, ligament, and nerve damage to his left hand.

Executive Director SafeWork Operations, Tony Williams said Macquarie Milling was handed the sentence at the Sydney District Court for failing to comply with health and safety laws.

“Macquarie Milling did not ensure the cutting machine was guarded, that there was a safety manual, or that adequate training was provided to workers. These are all factors which greatly lessen risks to health and safety when using this type of machine,” Mr Williams said.

Macquarie Milling Director, Roland Albert Samuels, 62, was fined $22,500 and ordered to undertake a course in due diligence and work, health and safety risk management within six months.

The Court noted approximately a year before the incident another Macquarie Milling worker suffered a “near miss” with the same machine, in a similar manner.

“This incident was entirely preventable and could have ended with a fatality. This sentence should serve as a strong reminder to all businesses that known hazards need to be acted on - worker safety must always be the number one priority,” Mr Williams said.

Macquarie Milling has the right to lodge an appeal.