1 min read

Crushed fingers cost company more than $110,000

SafeWork NSW v Duct Australia Pty Ltd (2018)


Duct Australia Pty Limited (the Company) was involved in the fabrication of sheet metal products.

An employee of the Company was instructed to fold channels in sheet metal using a 100-tonne capacity press. The channels were not folding at the correct angles and the supervisor failed to rectify this issue.

The employee had left his hands under the ram and die, which descended and crushed his fingers. The employee subsequently required partial amputation of four of his fingers.

The Company did not have a documented safe operating procedure for the operation of the press, and training for the press was delivered verbally and was inadequate. The Company also failed to ensure that the light curtain on the press was adjusted for the correct size of metal being worked on, in order to prevent the risk from arising.


The Company pleaded guilty to failing to comply with its duty under section 19(1) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) by exposing the employee to a risk of serious injury or death.

The Company was convicted and fined $112,500 plus costs.


Extra caution must be taken when the foreseeability of risk is high. This case is a reminder to prepare and implement a written safe working procedure, and ensure all workers are trained and assessed as competent before they commence work.

Please note: Case law is reported as correct and current at time of publishing. Be aware that cases in lower courts may be appealed and decisions subsequently overturned.

Subscribe to the Health & Safety Bulletin

From the experts behind the Health & Safety Handbook, the Bulletin brings you the latest work health and safety news, legal updates, case law and practical advice straight to your inbox every week.

Sending confirmation email...
Great! Now check your inbox and click the link to confirm your subscription.
Please enter a valid email address!