WorkSafe Prosecution Corner


18 Jul 2018

A fibreboard manufacturing company will have to spend more than $200,000 after a worker's arm was crushed in a machine.

While cleaning the machine, the worker was exposed to a nip point causing his arm to get stuck. The worker suffered three fractures to his arm, a graze to his head and a bleeding nose.The fractures required surgery and seven days hospitalisation, and the worker was off work for 14 weeks.

Following an investigation into the incident, WorkSafe found that the existing machine guarding was inadequate, and that the company failed to monitor the effectiveness of the controls that were in place. They also had no safe operating procedure for using the machine.

Under the enforceable undertaking the company must:

  • Providing amends in the form of payment to the victim, support to the victim and ACC top-up
  • Undertaking a health and safety benchmark survey for the industry and stakeholders
  • Providing additional staff training in machinery safety
  • Undertaking independent auditing to assure their safety systems meet international standards
  • Establishing and running an industry machinery safety forum for five years
  • Funding a health and safety programme in the local high school career pathway programme
  • Funding the St Johns Youth Training Programme for five years for disadvantaged families
  • Funding the Riding for the Disabled Rehab Programme for 10 people

This enforceable undertaking has a total expenditure of at least $210,000.00

Takeaway

Working with machinery is a major risk in any industry. Control measures, such as machine guarding and safe operating procedures, should be regularly monitored to ensure they are working. Workers should be consulted to make sure controls are effective and practical.

To learn more about control measures, try our Site-Specific Safety Planning course.