Manufacturing News

Company sentenced after Chinese workers hurt

A CAMPBELLFIELD company has pleaded guilty to seven workplace health and safety charges after two Chinese workers in Australia on section 457 visas suffered serious injuries in 2006.

WorkSafe prosecuted Lakeside Packaging in the Broadmeadows Magistrates Court yesterday and Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg will sentence the company on 2 July.

The charges related to the company’s failure to provide and maintain a safe workplace, its failure to properly train and supervise the Chinese workers and its failure to provide instruction or interpreters in their native Mandarin.

The men had little understanding of English.

WorkSafe told the court one man’s right forearm was crushed in an unguarded machine as he tried to remove misfed paper on 16 March 2006. He spent two weeks in hospital.

Several weeks later a second Chinese man was hurt in the first of two separate incidents.

While installing an electrical cable on 5 April 2006, the second man fell from a ladder which had been placed on top of a table so the roof (4.8m above) could be reached, despite a scissor lift being on the premises.

He broke his right wrist and two teeth and returned to work on 10 April 2006 with his arm in plaster. The plaster was removed on 18 May 2006 and replaced with a steel support brace.

On 30 June 2006, he hurt his other arm while using a two-handed drill while building a scaffold.

Working alone, the drill jammed and kicked back against his left wrist.

He kept working having been told the job had to be finished that day. He used his injured right hand (still in a brace) and chin to support the drill to finish the job.

It was later found that his left arm had also been broken.

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