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Hunter companies fined over abattoir injury


A meat exporter and a labour hire company have been fined a combined $105,000 after a man’s arm was injured by a factory meat processor, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said.

Hunter Valley-based meat exporter E.C Throsby Pty Ltd and Mondex Group Pty Ltd of Newcastle both pleaded guilty to failing to protect the health and safety of workers in relation to the 2014 incident.

Mr Kean said a 22-year-old cleaner employed by Mondex was cleaning an industrial meat processor at a Whittingham meat processing facility when it was activated.

“This poor young man suffered lacerations to his left hand and forearm, severing the tendon on his forearm and fracturing the bones,” Mr Kean said.

“It was a terrible incident in a workplace where the risks are clear.”

A SafeWork NSW investigation found that E.C. Throsby had modified a sensor switch on the machine.

“While Throsby assessed the risk to operators after the machine was modified, they did not consider the risk to cleaners prior to this serious incident,” Mr Kean said.

“Businesses owe it to all of their workers to protect their safety in the workplace.

“My continuing priority is to ensure all workers who head off to work in the morning return home safely to their families each night.”

Last year SafeWork NSW successfully prosecuted 34 offenders and issued 218 penalty notices.

The companies have the right to appeal.