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Sawmill To Pay $8,000 After Thumb Amputation

Thu, 22 Aug 2002

Sawmill To Pay $8,000 After Worker's Thumb Amputated

Taranaki Sawmills Ltd were sentenced to pay a fine of $8,000 today after a worker had his thumb amputated in an accident last year.

The amputation happened when a worker's hand came in contact with the profile cutter's blade of a finger-jointing machine.

Since the accident the worker has had his right index finger removed and used to replace his thumb. $4,000 went to the victim.

"The company failed to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of their employee," said Patrick Cashmore, OSH Service Manager, Taranaki.

"They should have ensured that the stop button could not be overridden, or fitted a light beam sensor. Either of these actions would have prevented the accident.

"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."

The company was sentenced at the New Plymouth District Court.

Ends


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