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Worker's Finger Amputated In Chocolate Machine

Tue, 20 Aug 2002

Worker's Finger Amputated In Chocolate Machine

A Waikato company has been sentenced to pay a fine of $4,800 after part of a worker's finger was amputated in a chocolate making machine.

Waikato Valley Chocolates Ltd pleaded guilty in the Hamilton District Court after being prosecuted by the Occupational Safety and Health Service.

"The accident happened when a worker was cleaning one of the machines. He was trying to clear a blockage when part of his finger was amputated," said Kevin Webby, OSH Service Manager, Waikato-Thames.

"The worker, who was also a architectural student, had been working at the plant for just three weeks.

"While he had been told how to operate the machine for a production run, he had not been trained in the cleaning/flushing operation.

"The company should have instructed him on a safe cleaning process and advised him of the hazards associated with this particular machine.

"New Zealanders being harmed and killed at work is simply unacceptable.

"Everyone has the right to go to work and be safe. Companies must ensure that workplace hazards are identified and controlled correctly, and that their safety systems are constantly reviewed and updated."


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