Prosecution of Midfield Meat

Midfield Meat International Pty Ltd (“Midfield Meat”) based in Warrnambool, slaughters cattle and immediately processes the meat for sale domestically and internationally.  Hygiene Control Pty Ltd (“Hygiene Control”) is engaged by Midfield Meat to carry out the cleaning of processing rooms including the small stock boning room.

The small stock boning room contained six belt and slat conveyors which transferred meat product between various items of plant and workstation areas. The conveyors were required to be turned on during part of the cleaning process. Midfield Meat failed to ensure that its plant was adequately guarded to prevent the risk of injury to workers.

On 27 November 2007 an employee of Hygiene Control suffered serious injuries when his arm was dragged into a conveyor during the cleaning process. 

Midfield pleaded Guilty. 

It was noted that Midfield have prior conviction for breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

In handing down their decision the Court emphasised the importance of general deterrence in these cases, and the need for all companies to be informed of their obligations to look after their employees and ensure that employees are able to work without being harmed.
Midfield Meats was considered a substantial employer, who had been around for a long time.

Result: Convicted & fined $35,000