Visy fined $375,000 after worker sustains crush injuries in workplace accident

Visy Board Pty Ltd has been fined $375,000 in the NSW District Court after an employee sustained crush injuries to his left ankle following a workplace incident where the ruling found the risk of injury was “patently obvious”.  

SafeWork NSW launched the prosecution after a 25 June 2020 incident where a man employed by Visy was working on a conveyor at the company’s Smithfield worksite when he unknowingly stepped into the path of a trolley car.  

This trolley car hit the worker’s left leg, causing it to be trapped between the trolley car and conveyor, crushing his left ankle.  

The worker underwent multiple surgical procedures to his left ankle and foot. Following these procedures, the worker’s left leg was surgically amputated below the knee due to an infection. 

A risk assessment was carried out at the worksite around six months earlier which raised concerns regarding ‘crush/pinch points between edge of trolley car and conveyors corners.’ 

The assessment outlined solutions which were not implemented by Visy despite acknowledging the risk was ‘unacceptable.’ 

His honour found that the injury, emotional harm, loss and damage caused by the offence was substantial. 

“Visy were aware of the danger their employees were working in and, despite being given steps to eliminate or minimise the risk, did not act appropriately to address the risk,” said head of SafeWork NSW, Trent Curtin.

“Mobile plant, including trolley cars, have the potential to seriously injure or kill people. Workplaces need to identify risks such as where mobile plant might interact with people and design their workplace layout so that vehicles and pedestrians are separate wherever possible.” 

In November 2022, Visy Board Pty was fined $275,000 (and ordered to pay $8500 in costs) over an incident in which a worker had parts of two fingers severed.

The company pleaded guilty to failing to provide and maintain a safe work environment and was fined in the Fremantle Magistrates Court.

ProPack.Pro contacted Visy for comment but not did not respond prior to publication

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