Queensland safety regulator agrees to enforceable undertaking with SRA

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland accepted an enforceable undertaking (EU) by Sugar Research Australia Limited (SRA).

The EU was entered into after an incident in which a worker lost two of his fingers when he was processing sugar cane samples at the company’s Bundaberg station.

He was operating a cutter grinder in a way that exposed unguarded cutting blades near the outtake area. The worker pressed the grinder’s stop button to clear the outtake area of debris with a gloved right hand. His hand became entangled in the rotating blades of the grinder, causing crush injuries to the middle and ring fingers of the right hand.

WHSQ alleges SRA failed to comply with health and safety duties. The regulator may, as an alternative to prosecution, accept an enforceable undertaking given by the person who is alleged to have committed the contravention.

The company has agreed to develop and implement the SRA Safety Culture Program, engaging a third-party consultant to audit SRA’s occupational health and safety management system; develop and deliver training to staff on safe work procedures and safety; conduct risk assessments and safety leadership training.

The company also agreed to commit funds to the University of Queensland’s Primary Industry Health and Safety Partnership program to develop a safety system for small farm operations and communicate safety awareness to small farm operators, giving the EU a total minimum cost of nearly $ 150,000.

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