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Court Summary - at a glance
- Identify the hazards presented by the hoist machine;
- Ensure the forks of the hoist machine were stable and could not dislodge, for example by installing a locking device or restraint between the bowl and dough bin;
- Guard the hoist machine to isolate its employees from its moving parts;
- Ensure control box two was only able to be accessed by suitably trained personnel, for example by ensuring it could only be unlocked by a specific key;
- Ensure employees (including supervisors) understood how the limit switches worked, including that they were able to be overridden when control box two was used;
- Ensure all employees understood and followed the Lock out/Tag out procedures; and
- Ensure the hoist machine was only operated by one person at a time.
A baker’s assistant employed by the Defendant was operating a hoist machine used to raise large mixing bowls of dough. Normally, the machine has limit switches restricting how high the bowl can be raised. On the day of the incident, the machine was put into manual control due to a fault. The manual control had overridden the limit switches. The bowl was raised higher than usual and spun forward on its forks. The victim was crushed between the bowl and a dough bin.
The victim suffered a rib fracture, a small left central pneumothorax (presence of air or gas in the pleural cavity surrounding the lungs, causing pain and difficulty in breathing), and a bruised lung.
• Sections 26 and 50(1)(b) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (charge withdrawn)