Employee loses part of finger on unguarded auger
A producer of snack and muesli bars has today been fined $28,125 after an employee of a contractor had part of his finger amputated when it came into contact with the auger blade of an inadequately guarded peel dicer machine.
The Waitakere District Court also ordered Tasti Products Limited to pay $7,500 in reparation after the accident at its Te Atatu Peninsula plant on 9 September 2010.
“This employee of a contractor was trying to clear peels from an opening at the bottom of the peel dicer machine when his left index finger came into contact with the auger’s blade. His finger was amputated below the fingernail,” says the Department of Labour’s (now the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) Northern General Manager, John Howard.
“This injury could have been avoided if there had been a guard fitted at the bottom of the machine to prevent his fingers coming into contact with the blade.”
“We investigate hundreds of machine-related accidents at work each year – this is completely unacceptable,” says Mr Howard.
Last year, the Department launched a project to help reduce the number and severity of machinery-related accidents.
“Our inspectors are visiting workplaces across the country to discuss the project and increase awareness of machine guarding. In the first year of the project we visited 1419 workplaces, and we will continue to ensure employers are aware of their responsibilities,” Mr Howard says.
Notes to Editor
- Tasti Products Limited was convicted on one charge under Sections 18(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.
- Section 18(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 states: Every principal shall take all practicable steps to ensure that—
(a) no employee of a contractor or subcontractor; and
(b) if an individual, no contractor or subcontractor,— is harmed while doing any work (other than residential work) that the contractor was engaged to do.
- The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 is available online.
- A principal's guide to contracting to meet the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 is available online.