Manufacturer Fined After Worker Killed By Giant Blender

An Australian brake-pad manufacturer has been fined more than $125,000 following a March 2008 incident in which a worker was killed while cleaning an industrial-size blender.

An investigation found the company, FIP Brakes International in suburban Sydney, had a "significant number of safety failings" that led to the blender being turned on while the employee was inside the machine, The Daily Telegraph reports.

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The unidentified machine operator suffered extensive crush injuries and lacerations from exposure to the powerful blender, leading to the worker's death.

Industrial Court Justice Anna Backman ruled that the incident was foreseeable and that there were serious deficiencies in the company's systems, ABC Sydney reported.

The judge fined FIP Brakes $117,000 and the firm's managing director $10,400, and ordered them to pay legal costs.

"This case is particularly significant given that the company's insurer had 12 months previously identified major shortcomings in the company's occupational health and safety systems," said Peter Dunphy of WorkCover, the government agency responsible for maintaining workplace safety.

Had the company maintained proper safety protocols, Dunphy said, "chances are a man would be alive today."

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David Schepp

Staff Writer

David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.

Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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