Juice company convicted following serious injury to young workers

Glenn Farrell v Nippy’s Waikerie Producers Pty Ltd 
A Riverland juice company has been fined $120,000 after a young worker lost their hair and scalp in a workplace incident.

In November 2020, an 18-year-old young worker employed at Nippy’s fruit processing plant suffered serious and traumatic injuries while cleaning up fruit on a conveyor sorting line.

Workers were exposed to dangerous moving parts of the conveyor and there was no evidence Nippy’s had trained the young worker, who was in their first full-time job since leaving school.

The failure to implement the simple and inexpensive engineering measures of a guard on the sprocket and chain and a restraint to prevent access while the conveyor was operating is objectively serious,’ Deputy President Magistrate Eaton stated.

SafeWork SA reminds businesses that inadequate or unguarded plant and machinery is a common cause of serious injury and death and failure to appropriately identify and control exposure to moving parts, carries strict penalties.

Nippy’s Waikerie Producers Pty Ltd was convicted with an initial fine of $200,000, reduced to $120,000 following a 40 per cent discount for early guilty plea.

Further payments of $2,163 for informant’s costs and a victims of crime levy in the sum of $405 were also ordered.

SafeWork SA Executive Director Glenn Farrell said employers have no excuse for failing to adequately protect their workers from harm, particularly when employing young, inexperienced people to work with plant and machinery.

‘A safe work environment requires a conscious commitment to health and safety, and an effective risk management approach with high order controls.

‘Incidents like this should not be happening and businesses must prioritise the health and safety of their workers,’ said Mr Farrell.