SafeWork SA is aware of an incident in which two young children climbed inside a vending machine at a shopping centre. The type of vending machine concerned dispenses a larger cuddly / stuffed toy into an exit chute after the user has grasped the toy with a mechanical claw. In the recent incident two young children entered the vending machine by its exit chute and climbed up onto its main platform where the cuddly / stuffed toys are located. The vending machine is not in any way intended to have any person inside. Any person entering it would be exposed to the vending machine’s internal working parts. The children were released from the vending machine unharmed.
Factors and risks to consider
Some vending machines are fitted with an internal stopper or bar that prevents the exit chute door from being opened further than approximately 120mm. There are vending machines in circulation that do not have the internal stoppers or bars fitted to prevent it being opened widely and entered by small children. These types of vending machine will be located in public spaces, shopping centres, pubs, gaming centres or other recreational venues.
Persons with management or control of such public or private spaces where these vending machines are located must consider de-energising and removing it from service when the exit chute door can be opened to a gap of any wider than 120mm.