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Snowplanet fined after worker injured

Snowplanet fined after worker injured

The indoor ski park company Snowplanet has been fined $42,000 and ordered to pay reparations of $9,500 after a worker had his arm crushed while clearing snow from under a conveyor belt in April last year.

Christopher Hill’s arm was fractured when it was trapped in a ‘running nip’ created by a roller and the ‘Magic Carpet’ conveyor, which is used to move skiers up a snow-covered slope.

Mr Hill had climbed underneath the upper end of the conveyor to clear away snow. The glove on his left hand and his jacket got caught in the pinch point between the roller and the conveyor belt, dragging his arm into the mechanism. He had to be cut free from the machine and had to undergo surgery.

Snowplanet pleaded guilty to one charge under the Health and Safety in Employment Act of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure his safety.
WorkSafe NZ’s chief investigator, Keith Stewart, said Snowplanet should have done more to prevent access to the dangerous parts of the conveyor.

“There was also nothing to prevent a person lifting the hatch and climbing down under the conveyor exposing themselves to the dangerous parts while the conveyor was running. The company should have had an effective lockout procedure in place.

“Snowplanet has now fitted padlocks to the access panels and fixed guards under the conveyor. It has also implemented a proper lockout procedure for cleaning and maintenance of the ‘Magic Carpet’ conveyor.

“Those simple measures will hopefully help prevent another similar incident,” said Keith Stewart.


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