Manufacturer fined $200,000 over electric shock incident

A Victorian manufacturer has been fined $200,000 because one its workers received an electric shock from a moulding press.

Bayswater-based CRP Industries was convicted for breaching two sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, by failing to provide a safe working environment for its employees, said WorkSafe Victoria.

The 26-year-old factory worker reportedly received the electric shock from a live wire on an electric press used to mould rubber gaskets and seals.

WorkSafe found that CRP Industries had not provided information to employees about the risk of electric shocks and the importance of isolating the power supply before working on the press.

Further, the company had not posted acceptable signage near the press, warning press workers of the potential risk.

WorkSafe general manager of operations, Lisa Sturzenegger, said the incident was a reminder to manufacturers of the importance of taking responsibility for workplace safety.

“Employers need to systematically manage risks to ensure they provide a safe place of work,” said Sturzenegger.

“Plant and machinery safety should not be left to the discretion of the workers. Employers must ensure the highest level of protection.

“As this case shows, the courts take these issues seriously. Apart from the effect on the individual, a conviction and fine can have significant financial consequences for companies and the people who lead them.”

In 2010, four people died of electric shocks while working in industrial settings, including the double electrocution fatality of a father and son at Rainbow in Western Victoria.