Facility

Eureka Chip Company Pty Ltd, part of Sonora Food.

Incident Type

Worker's finger entangled in an unguarded corn grinder.

Date of Incident

August 2021.

Penalty Imposed

$63,000 fine for multiple safety breaches.

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Introduction

Eureka Chip Company Pty Ltd, a Victorian corn chip manufacturer, has been fined $63,000 following an incident where a worker’s finger became entangled in an unguarded corn grinder, leading to serious injury.

Details of the Incident

In August 2021, an employee was injured while using a corn grinder. As the worker attempted to clear an accumulation of corn, his finger was caught by a rotating auger, resulting in lacerations and a fractured finger requiring surgery.

Operational Context

The court was informed that workers at Eureka Chip Company often used their hands or spatulas to clear blockages in the corn grinder while it was operating. The company, owned by Sonora Food, provided minimal information and training on safe machine operation.

Court’s Decision and Impact on Victims

Eureka Chip Company pleaded guilty to failing to provide or maintain a safe workplace, to provide adequate information, instruction, and training, and to notify WorkSafe immediately after the incident. The Bendigo Magistrates’ Court imposed a fine of $63,000 without recording a conviction.

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