June 2021 Case Overview
ThinkSafe’s Incident Support Team supported a Premium client through a notifiable injury last month.
A worker in charge of operating a waste shredder at a recycling plant had part of his middle finger removed when he was attempting to clear a blockage. The machine was not turned off, the guard was then removed by the worker who released the blockage only to have a piece of chain, hidden inside a protruding plastic tube contact his hand. Strong leather work gloves provided no barrier for the loose chain driven by the idling shredder.
Remediation included a combination of engineered solutions based on the hierarchy of controls, demonstrating a high level of empathy and care for the injured person, and setting in motion a series of ongoing safety interactions around the plant driven directly by senior management.
As soon as the site was released back to the PCBU, the engineered strategy was implemented, redesigning the guard with safety locks. The keys are now found attached to the power switch which must be in the “off” position for them to be available. The shredder can be turned on again once the operator returns to their secure workstation.
To the company’s credit, they completed the required modifications to the guarding, also updating the SOP, and evidenced this with photos within their incident investigation which was sent the day after it was requested by WorkSafe.
The result, no further action required.