Fined $47,250, Plus $10,500 in Reparation
An Oamaru, New Zealand meat processor has been fined $47,250 and ordered to pay $10,500 in reparation after an employee’s hand was crushed between unguarded fixed rollers on a conveyor belt, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
The Oamaru District Court heard recently that in January this year at the Lean Meats Oamaru Limited premises on Redcastle Road, Oamaru the worker was packing cuts of meat after they had been vacuum packed. As she tried to mop up excess water from the conveyor her hand became trapped in the fixed rollers leading to crush injuries needing hospital treatment.
Simple Safety Steps Would Have Avoided Injury
Acting MBIE Labor Group General Manager Southern, Francois Barton, noted “Unguarded machinery is extremely dangerous and an accident waiting to happen. There were several simple steps available to the employer that would have safeguarded against this sort of incident happening that were not taken – such as replacing fixed rollers with pop-out ones or putting in tunnel guards.
“This case illustrates the importance of effective safety auditing that identifies all possible trapping points and either removes them completely or guards them effectively.
MBIE Labor has a three-year project under way with the aim of reducing the number of workplace accidents involving unguarded and inadequately guarded machinery,” Barton commented.
Conveyors are a well-known hazard across a range of industries and have been involved in incidents and accidents for many years, according to officials.
Author 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. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
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