Faulty mincer breaks NSW worker's forearm

Luke Costin
·2-min read

A Sydney pasta maker has been fined after a safety system on a mixer mincer was intentionally bypassed before the machine snapped a worker's arm.

Reza Yuniar was preparing beef tortellini at a Strathfield South factory when he tried to push a small amount of meat down the chute of the mixer mincer.

The machine's mixing paddles collided with Mr Yuniar's right forearm, breaking it in two places.

"The CCTV footage depicts Mr Yuniar putting his arm into the bowl and immediately withdrawing it, appearing to be in pain," NSW District Court Judge David Russell said this week.

SafeWork NSW later found the machine was capable of operating with its safety lid open as a magnetic interlock safety system had been removed.

The electrical circuit, which would ordinarily break once the lid opened, had been also been bridged.

It had been normal practice before the June 2017 accident to operate with the safety lid open, the court heard.

Daily inspection reports of machinery had never identified the fault and pasta maker Il Pastaio had taken no steps to eliminate or minimise the risk of injury, the judge said.

"The risk of a worker being seriously injured as a result of having a limb pinched in the moving part of a mixer being operated with its lid up and without an interlock safety guard in place, was obvious and foreseeable," he said.

"The risk was one that was known, or ought to have been known, to Il Pastaio."

Mr Yuniar required a screw and plate inserted into his arm and, while returning to other duties, still has pain and restricted movement in his arm.

Il Pastaio, which pleaded guilty to breaching the work health and safety act, was fined $135,000 and ordered to pay the prosecutor's legal costs.

The judge took note of the firm's clean record, remorse, early plea, co-operation with investigators and positive steps since the accident.