Baker’s life crushed by horror injury


A Lebanese baker, who came to Australia looking for a better life, plans to sue a Logan bakery after an excruciating incident in which he says his hand was crushed in a bread-rolling machine.

Ahmad Chmaysse, 52, said he was standing on a ladder while removing dough from a machine, when his right hand got caught while the machine was running, flattening and crushing the bones in his fingers and searing his skin.

Mr Chmaysse said there was no emergency stop button on the roller and he had to yell out to alert a colleague more than 10m away so he could come and turn off the machine.

It took two colleagues nearly an hour to unbolt rollers on the machine and free him - all the while no ambulance was called, according to Mr Chmaysse.

Mr Chmaysse was driven to Logan Hospital where he was treated with pain relief before he was driven to Greenslopes hospital for an operation.

Now the father of four, whose 11-year-old daughter still lives with him, has limited movement in his hand and is in constant pain.

To add to his injury, Mr Chmaysse is the sole carer of his terminally-ill wife, Robah, who is suffering from a debilitating colorectal cancer with only months to live.

His daughter Zenah said her father's life had been in turmoil since the 2018 incident and the family wanted to speak out as part of National Safe Work Month, so other migrant workers, who don't speak or read fluent English, know about safe workplace practices.




A young Ahmad Chmaysse of Parkinson suffered a hand injury at work.
A young Ahmad Chmaysse of Parkinson suffered a hand injury at work.


"Dad had to attract the attention of another employee to get the machine turned off," his daughter, Zenah, said.

"Immigrants like my dad do not understand what standard of workplace safety to expect because they are used to foreign factories.

"This needs to change to protect both employers and employees because now my dad can't look after my mum and sister."

Maurice Blackburn lawyer Michael Croft has taken on Mr Chmaysse's case.

"This is a crucial reminder to all employers about their duty of care to prevent work accidents, ensuring all workers come home safely to their loved ones at the end of each day," he said.

"Sadly, each year in Queensland there are approximately 39 work-related deaths and more than 26,000 workers who are seriously injured in workplace incidents - many of these are preventable.

"We are fortunate to have an effective workers' compensation scheme to support injured workers, but maintaining safe workplaces must remain front of mind for employers and employees."

Queensland has the nation's toughest work, health and safety laws in place, including the offence of industrial manslaughter.

The Logan bakery was contacted but did not return calls.

Originally published as Baker's life crushed by horror injury