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$6,500 fine after worker blinded in one eye


$6,500 fine after worker blinded in one eye

An Opotiki company was sentenced today after one of their workers was injured in a kiwifruit orchard last year.

Double M Orchards Ltd were convicted and fined $6,500 in the Auckland District Court after being prosecuted by the Occupational Safety and Health Service (OSH).

$5000 was awarded to the victim.

"New Zealanders being harmed or killed at work is simply unacceptable. In this case a casual employee was blinded in one eye when he got flicked with a wire on a kiwifruit orchard," said Murray Thompson, OSH Service Manager, Taupo-Eastern Bay of Plenty region.

"As a result of nerve damage at the back of the eye, he lost the sight in his right eye. He was hospitalised for one week.

"While safety glasses had been purchased by the company, the employee was unaware glasses were required to be worn for this particular task. In addition, the supervisor failed to ensure the safety glasses were used.

"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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