General Distributors convicted after hand injury
General Distributors Ltd, operator of a Countdown supermarket in Birkenhead, was fined $45,000 yesterday following an accident in which a Deli Assistant Manager was injured.
In February this year the victim was deboning a ham on an automated meat slicer when her thumb made contact with the blade, resulting in the thumb having to be amputated.
John Howard, General Manager, Northern Division, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, said: “As an employer, General Distributors Ltd failed to take all practicable steps to ensure that the employee was not exposed to the hazards arising out of the use of the meat slicer and this incident could have been avoided through the use of guarding. Too many serious harm accidents and fatalities occur because basic machine guarding is not in place.
“Even though the principles of machine guarding are well known, people are still seriously injured and killed because machines are poorly guarded or not guarded at all. It is essential that all employers and employees understand the hazards associated with the use of machinery in the workplace and information and guidance material is available on the Ministry’s website.”
In addition to the fine, General Distributors was ordered to pay reparations of $5000.
Notes to Editors:
General Distributors Ltd was charged under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, ssd 6 and 50(1)(a)
Safe use of machinery guidance is available online.