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$18,000 Fine After Arm Severed In Machinery

$18,000 Fine After Worker's Arm Severed In Machinery

A Northland company has been prosecuted by the Occupational Safety and Health Service (OSH) after a man had his lower arm amputated after a workplace accident.

Kiwi Dairy Products Ltd was fined $18,000 after failing to ensure an employee of a contractor was not harmed when his hand became trapped in machinery.

$15,000 of the fine went to the victim.

"The accident occurred when the worker was conducting engineering maintenance work at its Maungaturoto site. The sleeve of his overalls became caught in the machinery after it started unexpectedly and dragged his hand and then his forearm into a screw auger," said Richard Willis, Service Manager, OSH Northland.

Since the accident the worker has not been able to undertake employment.

"This was an horrific accident which has greatly affected the life of the worker," said Mr Willis.

"In this case the company should have taken practicable steps to ensure the safety of the contractor's employee.

"These steps should have included guarding the machinery, and having effective procedures in place to isolate the machinery while maintenance work was being carried out.

"Every employee has the right to go to work and return home safely.

"Employers, principals and those in control of workplaces need to take a systematic approach to identifying workplace hazards and put systems in place to protect workers. These systems need to be constantly monitored, reviewed and updated to ensure they are effective."

Ends

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