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Goodman Fielder fined for accident at Ernest Adams plant

Media release

25 November 2013

Goodman Fielder fined for accident at Ernest Adams brand plant in Palmerston North

Goodman Fielder has been fined $32,500 and ordered to pay reparations of $8000 following a workplace accident at its Palmerston North Ernest Adams plant.

The victim lost four fingers and had the skin pulled from his hand in a workplace accident. The company had already paid the victim $47,000 to cover his expenses and the difference between ACC payments and what he would have earned had he not been involved in the accident.

The sentencing hearing was held in the Palmerston North District Court nearly two months ago, and the Judge’s decision has just been released.

The employee was cleaning dough from a machine while it was still running so that a different coloured batch of dough could be put through it. He’d lifted a loading hopper from the machine, when he inadvertently stumbled catching his hand between two rollers amputating four fingers ion his right hand, severely breaking his right thumb, requiring screws and plates to be inserted and “degloving” the hand to his wrist. Degloving means skin is pulled off.

“Our investigators discovered there were no guards on the machine to ensure employees could not access it while it was running. We also found that although there was a standard procedure for the machine’s general operation, there was no plan for this process which resulted in the very serious injury to the employee,” Keith Stewart, Chief Inspector Investigations said.

“The company has since implemented an interlock guarding system so there’s no chance workers are exposed to this risk, but that’s come too late for this employee who suffered terrible injuries because of the company’s failings,” Mr Stewart said.

[ends]

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