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Company fined $12,000 - worker's toes amputated

Company fined $12,000 after worker's toes amputated

A Balclutha company was fined $12,000 after being prosecuted by the Occupational Safety and Health Service (OSH) today.

Van Zanten New Zealand Ltd, a bulb growing company, were fined after a worker had his foot crushed and two toes amputated.

$10,000 of this amount was awarded to the victim.

"The accident happened after a labourer had his foot impaled on a fertiliser spreader last year," said Murray Leighton, Senior Health and Safety Inspector, Southland.

"In this case the worker was riding in the back of the operating spreader that was attached to a tractor, when the tractor went over a bump and he slipped into the spreader.

"The spreader was supplied with guards which had been removed three months earlier by the worker under his supervisor's supervision.

"The operator's manual specifically states do not ride on spreader while operating.

" As a consequence, the worker had his foot crushed and two toes amputated, some bones removed and a lengthy stay in hospital. The victim continues to suffer ongoing pain."

The practicable steps the company should have taken were, firstly, to ensure that the guards were used when the fertiliser spreader was in operation and, secondly, to ensure that employees did not ride in the spreader while it was operating.

"This accident was totally preventable and foreseeable," said Mr Leighton.

For further information contact:

Murray Leighton, Senior Health and Safety Inspector, Occupational Safety and Health Service, Southland, Tel 032182126, Mobile 025 328 471, murray.leighton@osh.dol.govt.nz

Madeleine Setchell, Business Adviser-Public Relations, OSH, Wellington. Tel 04 915 4390 Mobile 025 463 538, madeleine.setchell@osh.dol.govt.nz

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