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Company fined over rock crusher accident

11 July 2014

Company fined over rock crusher accident

South Island company Solly’s Freight Limited has been fined $52,000 and ordered to pay $15,000 in reparation after one of its workers suffered serious injuries when his arm got caught in a rock crusher machine.

William Clark was working as a labourer at a plant run by a company associated to Solly’s Freight, Golden Bay Dolomite Limited, in August last year when the incident occurred. He was attempting to clear debris away from one of the conveyor belts on a rock crusher when his glove got caught and his arm was dragged into the drum roller.

Mr Clark suffered cuts, crushing, a dislocated shoulder and a fracture to his upper arm.

Solly’s Freight pleaded guilty to two charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act (sections 6 and 50) of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure Mr Clark’s safety at work. The company was sentenced today at the Nelson District Court.

WorkSafe New Zealand’s Chief Inspector, Keith Stewart, says the rock crusher should have had guards in place to prevent access to the dangerous parts of the machine while it was in operation.

WorkSafe NZ placed a prohibition notice on the use of the machine following the incident. Appropriate guards were subsequently put in place, and the notice was then lifted.

“Solly’s Freight also let itself and its workers down by not ensuring it had an effective hazard identification process in place.

“Mr Clark was never shown the standard operating procedures for the rock crusher or the manufacturer’s brochure. And he was not aware of any written procedures for the operation of the machine or the identification of its hazards.

“All companies – particularly those with dangerous machinery – need to make sure they systematically identify and manage health and safety risks,” says Keith Stewart.

ENDS

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