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Company to pay $10,000 after worker burnt

Company to pay $10,000 after worker seriously burnt

Transfield Services Ltd was sentenced to pay $10,000 today after being prosecuted by the Occupational Safety and Health Service (OSH).

The company was sentenced at the Auckland District Court after a worker suffered serious burns in an accident in the Epsom suburb last year. Transfield provides maintenance services to a third of the Auckland power distribution network owned by Vector Limited.

"The victim was a live line mechanic carrying out maintenance work," said John Forrest, OSH Service Manager, Auckland.

"He suffered serious burns to his face and torso when an 11,000 volt flashover occurred. The worker experienced excruciating pain under his right armpit and his clothing ignited.

"New Zealanders being injured and killed at work is simply unacceptable. In this instance the worker spent eight weeks in hospital."

The Court also considered that the company had looked after the victim very well and had paid a total of $18,000 in advances to assist the victim.

"There was inadequate supervision on site and this allowed a variation from the safe system of work. There should have been two levels of insulation during live line work at all times," said Mr Forrest.

"Variation from safe working procedures had occurred on numerous occasions in the past.

"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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