2 min read

Failure to control the risks of using a shredder has devastating consequences

The Case

WorkSafe Qld v Pinkenba Resource Recovery Pty Ltd (2024)

Pinkenba Resource Recovery Pty Ltd (Pinkenba) is a waste management company that processes, recycles and transfers waste. Workers on site use an excavator or loader to feed waste material into the hopper of the shredder. From the hopper, the waste material travels along the rotating shafts into the body of the shredder where it is ripped into smaller pieces by the shredder’s mechanical teeth. The processed waste then leaves the machine via a discharge conveyor belt. This belt is positioned directly below a magnetic conveyor that attracts any ferrous material (metals containing iron). The non-ferrous material remains on the discharge conveyor before being discarded onto the floor.

On the night of 22 January 2021, Mr Clayton was loading a large pile of waste into the shredder when the shredder became blocked. The mechanical teeth in the shredder needed replacing and had effectively stopped functioning. This impaired the breakdown of the waste material, causing large pieces of waste to become trapped in the shredder on a regular basis.

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