After a horrifying occurrence at the salt plant where her right arm was dragged into a roller, a young woman Courtney Herbert was left with lifelong damage.
Who is Courtney Herbert?
On April 17, 2020, Courtney Herbert’s arm became stuck in the machinery at the Pacific Salt mill in Whyalla, South Australia. She was left in excruciating pain.
The young woman, who was then 18 years old, was removing surplus salt from a conveyor belt when her garments became tangled and dragged her arm into the roller.
Ms. Herbert had tendons damaged after being transported to the hospital for surgery.
What happened to Ms. Herbert at Pacific Salt factory in Whyalla?
According to court documents, Ms. Herbert’s employees tried everything to free her arm, with one snatching a nearby wrench to ease the stress on the roller.
Another worker frantically shut off the machine to stop the conveyer belt from crushing her arm.
Tendon injury occurred after Ms. Herbert was taken to the hospital for surgery.
Pacific Salt breached the Work Health and Safety Act
Following the event, Pacific Salt, the company responsible for creating the renowned Olsson’s Salt, was brought before the South Australian Employment Tribunal and entered a guilty plea for violating the Work Health and Safety Act.
The ruling, which determined that Pacific Salt had failed to establish a safe system of work and that the event could have been averted, was published on July 29.
Deputy President Magistrate Cole made note of the absence of an emergency stop on the conveyor and the improper guarding of the devices’ return rollers.
Courtney Herbert emotional statement about her lifetime injuries
Ms. Herbert said in her victim impact statement, which was delivered in court by her attorney, that she continued to experience stress, anguish, and discomfort as a result of the occurrence.
When she returned to work after around two months, the statement stated, “She states that she felt unsupported and she terminated her employment with the defendant shortly thereafter.”
There is still a big scar and tendon damage, it is still hard to use my arm,
“Ms. Herbert is still dealing with the incident’s emotional ramifications, including a dread of conveyors.”
More than two years later, according to Ms. Herbert, her arm was still bothering her.
Since then, Pacific Salt has invested $20,000 in the installation of guards and a conveyor emergency stop control equipment.
Additionally, it has invested over $300,000 on guarding upgrades and new guard installation for its machinery and facility.
Magistrate Cole found the occurrence to be a “severe regulatory infringement,” sentenced the corporation to a conviction, and assessed a $75,000 punishment.
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