Amy Food Cited for Exposing Workers to Unguarded Machinery

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited Houston-based Amy Food Inc. with one willful, four serious, and three other-than-serious citations for exposing workers to possible amputation hazards at the company's Houston facility. Proposed penalties total $77,100.  I'd like to think this isn't true – because I'm an Amy's fan – but unfortunately the citation seems to be true.

 

OSHA's Houston South Area Office
initiated a safety inspection on Richey Street following a complaint alleging that several employees had suffered near amputation incidents while operating machinery. The investigation found that not only did the company fail to have an energy control program in place but also machines were not being unplugged from the electrical power source prior to maintenance and servicing. [WCx]

The willful violation has been issued for failing to develop, document, and utilize an energy control program. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

The serious violations include failing to provide required machine guarding on chains and sprockets, cover floor holes and openings, and adequately mark exit doors. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The other-than-serious violations involve inadequate recordkeeping of injuries and illnesses on the OSHA 300 log. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

"This company exposed its workers to injuries, including possible amputation hazards, by failing to develop, document, and utilize an energy control program during the maintenance and servicing of machinery," said Mark Briggs, director of OSHA's Houston South Area Office. "Employer disregard for worker safety will not be tolerated." [WCx]

 

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Houston South area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

 

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 


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©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Carmel Candy Machine Snags Clothing and Pulls Woman In

We're writing about yet another unguarded machine accident… there are  too many of these around the world. Manufacturers of machinery and employers need to pay close attention to making sure all machines were guarded, employees/supervisors are trained and there were warnings for those few times the guards had to be removed.

Here are the facts we know about this accident.

British chocolate chain Thorntons has been fined after a worker broke her finger while operating a wrapping machine.

According to a report from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Ellen Yardley, 37, from Derbyshire was working at the company’s Somercotes plant on a foil wrapping machine, where chocolates were wrapped in foil and dispensed down a chute into a tray.   

 

During a short break in production, while the machine was still running, Ms Yardley attempted to clean the inside of the output chute which had become covered in caramel. However, the cloth she was using became tangled in rotating parts which gripped the chocolates and her right hand was dragged into the machine. (WCxKit)

Yardley’s middle finger was fractured and cut, and she was off work for 10 weeks following the incident.An investigation by HSE found the machine had guarding installed but it was inadequate.  

 

A subsequent audit of other machines in the factory found safety improvements were necessary to a range of machines, including preventing access to dangerous parts or repairs to existing safeguards.

 

Thorntons PLC, of Thornton Park, Somercotes, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 3(1) (a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.(WCxKit)

Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court fined the company $30,000 (20,000 GBP) and ordered it to pay full costs of $12,000 (7,680 GBP).



Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

New Jersey Employer Fined $126,000 for Allowing Worker Hazards

New Jersey-based Supply Plus was recently cited with one willful, 25 serious and two other-than-serious safety violations in response to a complaint alleging imminent danger for failing to guard machines and exposing workers to fall and electrical hazards at the company's Paterson facility, according to an OSHA report. Proposed penalties total $126, 000.
 
 
An inspection revealed one willful violation, with a $42,000 penalty, for failing to provide machine guarding. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. (WCxKit)
 
 
The serious violations, with $84,000 in penalties, include failing to keep work areas and passageways free of litter; provide guardrail protection, guard machines and electrical boxes; provide an eyewash station; provide personal protective equipment for workers handling chemicals; provide industrial truck and hazardous communication training; ensure exit routes were unobstructed and visibly marked; make sure exit doors could open properly; cover electrical panel boards supplying power for equipment and lighting; properly use flexible cords; implement a lockout/tagout program for energy sources to prevent machines from accidentally starting up during servicing and maintenance; perform workplace hazards assessment and develop a written hazardous communication program.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
 
 
The other-than-serious violations, carrying no penalty, are due to record-keeping violations. An-other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm. (WCxKit)
 
 
"Each of these violations left workers vulnerable to hazards that could cause serious injuries or quite possibly death," said Lisa Levy, OSHA's area director in Hasbrouck Heights. "It's vital that Supply Plus correct these hazards to protect its workers."

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 

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©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

Australian Employee Crushed to Death in Industrial Blender

A Western Sydney manufacturing company and its director were recently fined a total of $127,400 and ordered to pay WorkCover’s legal costs after a high powered industrial blender was turned on with a man inside it.
 
 
According to a report from the WorkCover Authority, FIP Brakes International (FIP) produces industrial sized brake pads, as well as other products, for trains and other railway vehicles and employs around 60 people mainly based at its facility in Wetherill Park. Its managing director is Chris Katakouzinos. (WCxKit)
 
 
A machine operator was killed when he was cleaning out an industrial blender at FIP’s premises.
The power to the machine had not been isolated and the machine became operational with the worker still inside. He died at the site with extensive crush injuries and lacerations.
 
 
A WorkCover investigation found a significant number of safety failings:
 

1.      The machine should not have been able to operate while its front

       doors were open. 

2.      The safety switches were either broken or malfunctioning. 

3.      The machine’s electrical power supply had not been turned off. 

4.      The machine operator should not have been working alone. 

5.      The machine was not properly maintained. 

6.      The operator was not given proper training.

 
 
FIP and its director were charged with breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000.
 
 
In handing down her finding in the Industrial Court, Justice Backman said the incident was foreseeable and that there were serious deficiencies in the company’s systems. (WCxKit)
 
 
They both pleaded guilty. FIP was fined $117,000 and Mr. Katakouzinos $10,400. The court ordered them to pay WorkCover’s legal costs.
 

 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

New South Wales Mandates Safety Switches for Workplaces

New regulations mandating safety switches in most workplaces came into force recently in New South Wales (Australia).
 
 
The workplaces will be required to install a safety switch, (also called a residual current device) for power points to protect workers against the risk of serious injury or fatality from an electric shock. (WCxKit)
 
 
The new rules also mean that high-risk portable electrical equipment and electrical equipment used in hostile conditions are protected by a safety switch.
 
 
Examples of high risk portable electrical equipment include:
 
1.      hand-held electrical equipment such as circular saws, angle grinders, hair dryers or commercial kitchen appliances
2.      portable equipment that is moved while in operation such as floor polishers, vacuum cleaners and portable lighting
3.      electrical equipment that could be moved between jobs such as extension leads, power boards, audio visual equipment or welding machines
 
 
Safety switches are recognized world-wide as life-saving devices that can reduce the unacceptably high number of electrocutions.
 
 
The National Regulatory Impact Statement for the Work Health and Safety Regulations found that States with mandatory safety switches have around 35% fewer electrical incidents.
 
 
A number of workplace deaths in NSW may not have happened had safety switches been mandated. The NSW Government will take all reasonable steps to prevent death and injury at work. Safety switches are one part of the answer.
 
 
Under the changes employers must ensure a safety switch is installed into the power circuit or as part of the socket itself or alternatively use a portable safety switch in any workplace that uses hand-held electrical equipment or where electrical equipment is moved during operation.
 
 
The changes will also require the employer to ensure that safety switches are regularly tested by a competent person to ensure the devices are operating correctly.
 
 
WorkCover will run an education campaign during the implementation period and small businesses with 20 employees or less who attend a WorkCover Workshop, or have received an advisory visit from a Business Advisory Officer, will be eligible to apply for a rebate under the WorkCover Small Business Rebate Program. (WCxKit)
 
 
Under the new regulations businesses will have 12 months to protect portable electrical equipment and electrical equipment used in hazardous conditions with safety switches, and four years to protect all power points with safety switches. Safety switches are already required for construction and building sites.
 
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
 
 
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

How Product Liability and Workers Compensation Interact

When a product – anything that is manufactured – fails to perform its intended function, and the failure of the product causes an injury, the person injured has a products liability claim against the manufacturer. When the product fails while being used by an employee causing a workers compensation claim, the workers compensation insurer can bring a subrogation claim (the right to recover) against the manufacturer.

 

 

To illustrate this, think of the Warner Bros. cartoon Road Runner where the main character, Wile E. Coyote, is always going about his job of catching the Road Runner. As Wile E. describes himself in some of the cartoons as “super genius”, he realizes he has a dangerous occupation, and therefore, even though he is self-employed, he has purchased workers compensation insurance. Wile E. often purchases products from the Acme Corporation (even though many of the products failed to perform as intended). One of his favorite tools in his business of trying to catch the Road Runner is the stick of dynamite. If Wile E. lights the fuse on the stick of dynamite, and Wile E. ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time, he gets a blacken face from the stick of dynamite. He has a work comp claim, but he does not have a products liability claim.   On the other hand, if Wile E. is holding the stick of dynamite and the dynamite’ fuse malfunctions blowing Wile E. up, he has both a workers’ compensation claim and a products liability claim. (WCxKit)

 

 

The product that malfunctions, like Wile E’s stick of dynamite, is the most common several types of products liability claim, but product malfunctions are not the only cause of product liability claims. In general, there are four types of product liability claims. They are:

 

  1. Products that are defectively manufactured
  2. Products that have a design flaw, also known as defective design.
  3. If a defect cannot be designed out of a product, a “fail safe” safety guard must be installed.
  4. Products that fail to provide adequate warnings of their danger if misused

 

 

The most common product liability claims that are also workers compensation claims is the manufacturing defect. In the construction industry employees are often working with various pieces of equipment that can malfunction, for example – ladders and scaffolding.   If the employee is climbing the ladder and half way up one of the ladders rungs was installed incorrectly when the ladder was manufactured, resulting in the employee falling and being injured, the manufacturer of the ladder has a products liability claim to contend with. If the scaffolding’s cross brace is not welded correctly, and the scaffolding collapses causing injury to the employee(s), the manufacture has a products liability claim. [As a side note: There were so many subrogation claims from work comp insurers in the 1970s and 1980s against ladder manufacturers and scaffolding manufacturers, that some went bankrupt, but others improved their product quality to a much higher level, resulting in much safer equipment]. Not to get too complicated, but the locking mechanisms on casters on the scaffolding can also fail; since these are typically manufactured by a different company than the scaffolding manufacturer, this would also result in a product liability claim.

 

 

Defective equipment can also lead to employee injuries. The most common example of this is the older hydraulic press or the hydraulic punch used in a factory. The hydraulic press would cut a form out of a flat sheet of metal or leather or other material.   With the older equipment the employee pushed a button and the hydraulic press punched/cut the design in the material. After the press hits the material being cut, the employee reaches in and removes the cut-out piece. Combine this process with the employee being paid by the number of pieces produced and you end up with a lot of one-hand employees. While this is human error, it was also a design flaw that was easily fixed. The hydraulic presses manufactured today have two buttons, set wide apart, and both buttons must be pushed at the same time, forcing the employee to have both hands on the buttons, away from the hydraulic press, when press operates.
Some equipment has guards that 
can be removed for machine maintenance, or faster or easier operation. The machine should be manufactured “fail safe” so if the guard is removed the equipment will no longer function. In other words, if the guard fails, it fails safe. Failure to guard is a separate cause of action.

 

 

Almost all product liability claims now have a component for failure to adequately warn. There are workers compensation claims that arise out of the failure to warn by product manufacturers. For example, many janitorial cleaning supplies work great when utilized in accordance to the manufacture’s recommendations. However, as most cleaning supplies contain chemicals, often they cannot safely be mixed with other cleaning chemicals. If the janitor mixes bleach with ammonia from two different cleaning products, a dangerous chloramines fume, which can be toxic or even fatal, is released. If the manufacturer of the bleach does not have a warning label on the bottle to not mix it with other cleaning products containing ammonia, the manufacturer of the bleach has a products liability claim and the workers compensation insurer that covers the janitor has a work comp claim with subrogation rights. (WCxKit)

 

 

The workers compensation adjuster (the employer, too) should always review the cause of injury to determine if there is subrogation – the right to recover – against the manufacturer of the product, item or equipment the employee was using at the time of the injury. If the product malfunctioned, was designed poorly, or, failed to warn about the potential hazards of using it, and the employee is injured, the insurer has a right to pursue the recovery of the cost of the claim from the products manufacturer. Now, I wonder if the insurer of Wile E. Coyote will pursue all the subrogation claims against the Acme Corporation.

 


As an employer
, you must include a provision in your account instructions that all workers compensation claims involving products or premises of another person or company must be reviewed for subrogation potential. Don’t rely totally on the insurance company (or TPA) to do this, your in-house counsel or litigation manager should take a look at these large claims to make sure the claim has been reviewed by a competent person at the insurance company and that you agree with their assessment of the potential to name a third party in an action to recover your payments — in other words, was another company more responsible for the injury than your company. In some states the damages are apportioned between responsible parties; however, in other states if the employer has ANY responsibility then there is no subrogation potential.

 

 

Although, it is much more complex than the discussion above, and involves numerous defenses, be aware that many workers compensation claims – particularly those that occur on machines and industrial equipment – have a component of product liability exposure under at least one of the four legal theories above. Your outside counsel or in-house legal department can provide more complete information about product liability claims.

 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

 

 

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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

 

Lawsuit Alleges Lack of Machine Guarding Nearly Cut Employee in Half

A Florida lawsuit alleges that lack of machine guarding left an employee disfigured.
 
 
The Orlando Sentinel reports, Edgardo Toucet Echevarria, 44, filed a lawsuit against Future Foam Carpet Cushion in Orange County, FL, following an incident on Jan. 13, 2010. (WCxKit)
 
 
Echevarria, a contract worker at Future Foam employed by Spartan Staffing, was asked by supervisors to remove a foam core from a “peeler machine” that has a steel blade used to cut blocks of carpeting foam, according to the lawsuit.
 
 
The suit alleges he wasn’t trained in operating the machine, and in the course of removing the foam, the machine activated.
 
 
OSHA cited Future Foam for 10 serious violations, including two machine guarding violations, and proposed $42,500 in fines. Future Foam is contesting the fines.
 
 
The lawsuit claims employees had improperly removed a guard from the machine.
 
 
“The surgical sharp steel blade sliced through [his] pelvis … while virtually cutting his body in half,” the lawsuit claims. (WCxKit)
 
 
Echevarria is seeking punitive damages and more than $15,000 for disfigurement, loss of capacity for enjoyment of life, medical expenses, loss of earnings and loss of earning capacity.
 

Subrogation
:
The employer (insurance company for the employer) will not doubt eventually file an action to recover damages against the machine manufacturer. Any recover may be offset against contributing fault of the employer for lack of supervison and lack of adequate training. Employers should address this subject in their account instructions.
 
 
Note on Product Liability: There are many resources that help employers stop this type of injury. National Safety Council and University of Wisconsin offer courses on machine guarding. Please, ask you insurance broker for assistance. The general rule is to 1- design hazards out of the equipment, 2- recall any equipment that is defective, and 3- if those two options are not possible then warn the users of the hazards. Simply warning users of the hazards is not sufficient and is not a defense when the machine is improperly designed and contains inherent hazards. Machinery should be "fail safe" meaning when guards are removed the equipment will shut down. Employee removal of guards is generally not a valid employer defense in a product liability action because the machine design should prevent operation if guarding is removed.

Design hazards out of equipement! Litigation Managers can take a proactive approach to reducing  injuries by educating divisions of your company about product safety and design.


Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information.  Contact:  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
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SUBSCRIBE: 
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Employer Modified Machine That Severed Employees Fingers

A worker in a Great Britain factory, manufacturing lids for food containers, had four fingers severed in a lid-punching machine that had been modified by her employers.
 
 
Chadwicks of Bury Ltd, which produces lids for yogurt pots, ice cream cartons and other food containers, was prosecuted by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at the company's Villiers Street factory in May of 2008. (WCxKit)
 
 
The 51-year-old worker, who has asked not to be named, was rethreading silver paper through the machine when the cutting tool restarted, severing four fingers on her right hand.
 
 
The HSE investigation found the company had covered the sensors on the machine so it could be used to cut paper instead of foil lids. The sensors would have stopped the machine operating when paper was being rethreaded through the cutting tool, if they had not been disabled.
 
 
Chadwicks of Bury pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 by failing to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery. The company was fined $35,134.87 with $13,597.54 costs at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court.
 
 
Nanette Cox, the investigating inspector at HSE, noted, "This lady suffered life-long injuries in a completely avoidable incident. She has been unable to return to work, and finds it difficult to carry out everyday activities.
 
 
"Chadwicks of Bury disabled the sensors on the machine and failed to install an alternative guard to stop employees accessing the dangerous cutting tool inside the machine while it was operating.
 
 
"We would remind all companies to ensure machines are properly guarded. This employee has to live with the consequences of these management failings, but lessons must be learnt by other employers." (WCxKit)
 
 
Last year, 35 workers lost their lives and nearly 26,000 suffered serious injuries in the manufacturing industry in Great Britain.


Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact:  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: 
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

New Zealand Officals Look to Toughen Safety Rules after Workers Death

Proper machine guarding could have saved the life of a worker killed when he was dragged into a pulp machine, according to New Zealand’s Department of Labor.
 
In December last year, a worker at Carter Holt Harvey Limiteds Pulp and Paper Mill in Kawerau, died when he was dragged into a large heavy duty pulp press. The worker, Robert Watene Beazley Coromandel, died from crush injuries to the chest. (WCxKit)
 
 At the Whakatane District Court recently, Carter Holt Harvey was fined $47,500.
 
The Department of Labors Waikato/Eastern Regional Manager, Ona De Rooy says this accident could have been prevented had the machine been properly guarded.
 
“Machine guarding standards have been in place for more than a century but people still ignore it or forget about it. It is one of the most basic ways to ensure people don’t get hurt or lose their lives at work,” De Rooy stated.
 
Unsafe machinery is the cause of a high number of serious harm and fatal injuries in the workplace. Employers have to give top priority to safety for machine users.”
 
Because of the high number of serious harm and fatal injuries caused by unsafe machinery, the Department of Labor has a three-year machine guarding project underway to improve this aspect of workplace health and safety.
 
Officials note this case involving Carter Holt Harvey is a good reminder of the importance of adequate machine guarding. (WCxKit)
Employers have to take all practicable steps to make sure that their machinery is properly guarded and workers are trained in the safe operation. Guards must never be removed. The machine manufacturer must be held responsible for unsafe machinery; the employer may file subrogation actions for damages against the machine manufacturer.

Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact:  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: 
Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

NEW ZEALAND Employers Must Check Guarding When Machinery Installed

Manufacturers can’t just install their equipment in a business and walk away without checking the equipment for safety in the workplace according to the New Zealand Department of Labour.

 

The comments came after the sentencing of an Auckland meat processing systems manufacturer over an accident in which a meat worker broke his leg. (WCxKit)

 

Realcold Milmech Ltd was fined $44,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $9,000 in the Tauranga District Court for its role in the accident which Department of Labour Waikato/Eastern Regional Manager Ona De Rooy says involved several failures by Realcold Milmech.

 

“It didn’t do a risk assessment after installing the equipment or ensure the equipment couldn’t operate when people needed to access danger areas for maintenance and cleaning. In addition to this there were no guards in place preventing access when the equipment was operating and the equipment didn’t have automatic locking devices,” she says.

 

De Rooy says appropriate guarding of machinery has been law for more than a century “but people still ignore it or forget about it.”

 

“Manufacturers have to give safety for users top priority, because unsafe machinery is the cause of a high number of serious harm and fatal injuries. (WCxKit)

 

“We have a three-year machine guarding project underway to improve this aspect of workplace health and safety and this case involving Realcold Milmech is a good reminder that manufacturers are liable for the ongoing safety of the equipment they produce. Responsibility doesn’t end at the point of sale and installation,” De Rooy added.

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing.
Contact:  RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

Work Comp Calculator:  http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php

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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

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