Fined for Breaching Health and Safety Legislation
Winstone Pulp International (Winstone) of Tangiwai, New Zealand has been fined for breaching health and safety legislation, leaving a worker with a broken collarbone and cracked rib, according to the country’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
The company was ordered to pay a fine of $55,500 and reparation to the victim of $10,000 for the injury in which a worker was crushed between heavy pallets of wood.
Worker on Out-Feed Deck & Could Not Hear Siren Warning
The Ohakune District Court heard that at the time of the accident the worker was on the outfeed deck and could not hear the machine’s siren to warn of an approaching pallet and was crushed between a moving pallet and a stationary one.
“Winstone has been remiss in a number of ways when it comes to the safety of its employees,” said central region health and safety manager for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Ona De Rooy.
Should have Been Adequate Staffing to Operate Machine
“There should have been adequate staffing to operate the stacker machine and the machine should have had a ‘dead man’ switch to prevent the stacker from automatically advancing the pallets. The victim should also have been trained to work on the machine if that was what he was required to do.
“This is an unacceptable example of an employer failing to take the steps required to keep their workers safe on the job. All too often employees are seriously injured at work, when it is their fundamental right to go home safely at the end of their working day,” De Rooy added.
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