No Excuse For Company to Be Operating Dangerous Machinery

Hazardous Snip Saw Used Unsafely for Seven Years


Tangiwai, New Zealand-based Winstone Pulp International has been ordered to pay a fine of $29,000 for a hazardous snip saw that had been used unsafely for more than seven years, according to the New Zealand Labour Group.


Winstone Pulp International was charged with one offense under Sections 7 and 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, which states: Being an employer, failed to ensure that there were in place effective methods for systematically identifying existing hazards to employees at work.



Saw Was An Accident Waiting to Happen


The Court recently heard that following an accident the saw was inspected by a Labour Group Health and Safety Inspector who observed that the was no effective guard on the saw – contrary to the general guidance about guarding provided by Ministry.


Labour Group General Manager, John Howard, noted “Unguarded machinery is extremely dangerous and an accident waiting to happen. The general guidance around guarding machinery is long-standing, well-understood and easily available from the Labour Group website.



No Excuse to Be Operating Dangerous Machinery


“There is also specific guidance around the required level of guarding for these types of saws. When you consider the time that this machine has been operational and unguarded together with the easy availability of clear guidance, then there is no excuse whatsoever for this company to be operating such an inherently dangerous piece of machinery.


“All too often employees are seriously injured at work, when it is their fundamental right to go home safe at the end of their working day,” Howard added.


MBIE-Labour has a three-year project under way to reduce the number of serious harm and fatal accidents resulting from the unsafe use of machinery.



<pAuthor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Contact






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