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Camp fined $5,000 after air rifle accident


Camp fined $5,000 after air rifle accident

A holiday camp near Otaki has been fined $5,000 after a visitor was hurt by a faulty air rifle earlier this year. The Forest Lakes Camp was sentenced in the Wellington District Court after pleading guilty to charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

"The camp has a basement shooting gallery where two air rifles owned by the defendant can be fired at targets," said Ted White, OSH Service Manager, Wellington.

"The accident happened when the victim pulled back the loading mechanism of the rifle, suddenly the piston snapped shut, severing the tip of his thumb. He was off work for 7 days as result of the accident.

"The defendant was a person in control of a place of work providing a service to people who stayed at the camp. The victim had paid to be there.

"There had been a previous accident involving the air rifle in 2001 where a 13-year-old school girl lost part of the top of her right thumb. Had that accident been properly investigated at the time, the defendant should have discovered that the air rifle trigger mechanism was faulty. As it was the air rifle remained an accident waiting to happen."

The rifle should have been withdrawn after the November incident and checked by a qualified gunsmith. All the rifle's trigger mechanisms should have been maintained regularly by a gunsmith.

"Places of work need to be safe for everybody, including members of the public who have paid to be there,"said Mr White.

"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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