WorkSafe Prosecution Corner
27 Aug 2018
A glazing company will have to spend more than $200,000 on an Enforceable Undertaking with WorkSafe after a worker’s leg was crushed in a machine.
In January 2017, a worker attempted to clear a jam on a laminated glass cutting machine via the computer control panel without success. A stopper arm failed to lift automatically causing the machine to stop. There was no isolation mechanism to prevent inadvertent start-up. The worker gained access to the machine through an open concertina gate, walked through the light beam that ran down the length of the cutting table where a bridge unit moves forward and backwards and jumped up onto the cutting table. He put his foot inside the bridge unit to reach over and manually lift the stopper arm.
As soon as the stopper arm had been lifted, the machine acknowledged that the jam had been cleared and automatically continued to run. The bridge unit moved forward and crushed the worker’s leg. The worker suffered a compound dislocation of his left ankle. He was taken to hospital where he spent two weeks before recovering for a period of approximately 2.5 months at home
WorkSafe’s investigation found the company had not provided safe procedures and guarding as per the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Under the Enforceable Undertaking, the company will:
- Provide amends in the form of payment to the victim and support to the victim.
- Develop a suite of initiatives to benefit the workplace and workers.
- Host workshops for Lisec cutting machine operators within the glass industry.
- Present and sponsor a session at the Windows Association of New Zealand and Glass Association New Zealand annual conferences.
- Provide specialised training courses in conjunction with the Glass & Glazing Institute NZ.
- Produce community resources on health, safety, wellbeing, inclusion, and diversity.
- Offer a scholarship for a trade qualification at the Mount Albert Unitech Institute of Technology.
- Sponsor a Community Alcohol & Other Drug Services in the South Auckland community for language interpretation services.
Having procedures to manage risk is vital. A Task Analysis or Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) is a good way to make sure you are managing risks in your workplace.