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Second accident sees company fined a total $6,000

Second accident sees company fined a total $6,000

Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) have prosecuted a Hawke's Bay company after an accident where a worker's fingers were degloved earlier this year.

Crasborn Packing Ltd was fined $6,000 in the Hastings District Court today.

"The accident happened when a worker's fingers became caught in the pinch point of an unguarded sprocket and chain drive," said Madeleine Setchell, an Occupational Safety and Health Spokeswoman.

"New Zealanders being harmed and killed at work is simply unacceptable. In this case the tips of the worker's right middle finger and ring finger were degloved and he lost a chip of bone from the tip of his ring finger. He was off work for three and a half weeks."

$5,500 of the fine was for failing to protect a worker, while a further $500 was imposed for disturbing the scene of an accident

Crasborn Packing Ltd operates pack houses in the Hawke's Bay. They were fined $7,500 last year for another accident where a woman was scalped and suffered severe injuries to her thumb, which required surgical reattachment. The worker in that accident was so entangled in a pack house drive shaft that the Fire Service had to cut her free.

"The practicable step the defendant should have taken was to have ensured that the sprocket and chain drive was guarded at all times," said Miss Setchell.

OSH Guarding Principles and General Safety for Machinery state that every part of any transmission machinery should be securely fenced unless it is in such a position or of such construction as to be safe to every person as it would be if securely fenced.

"By the time the accident was reported to OSH the scene had been disturbed in that a permanent guard had been installed over the sprocket and chain drive," said Miss Setchell.

"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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