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January 2020

Failure to properly maintain equipment

Failure to properly maintain equipment

SafeWork SA v Hungry Jacks Pty Ltd (2015)

Facts

Hungry Jacks operated a fast food restaurant in SA that used deep fryers. Deep fryers had to be cleaned with a mobile filtration unit if their internal filtration process was not operating. On 5 June 2012, a 17-year-old worker slipped and fell into the open top of a mobile filtration unit he was using to filter cooking oil from the deep fryers. He sustained burns to his arms and upper body.

Judgment

The Court convicted Hungry Jacks for failing to ensure the internal filtering component of the deep fryers was operative. If that had occurred, it would not have required hot oil to be filtered externally to the deep fryers.

The Court also found the worker’s injuries were worse because of a failure to provide and adequately maintain a procedure which ensured that workers received proper medical treatment as soon as reasonably practicable after a significant injury. The Court imposed a fine of $90,000.

Lessons

You need to ensure that plant and equipment are properly maintained and that emergency first aid procedures are operational and effective.

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