Manurewa recycling company fined after employee loses arm
A Manurewa recycling firm has been fined $40,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $50,000 this week following an incident where an employee lost his arm in a baling machine.
The Manukau District Court heard that on November 26 last year an employee of General Recycle Limited, Great South Road, Manurewa was operating a machine that baled plastic or metal for recycling. After noticing an item of a different grade of plastic the worker attempted to retrieve it from the baling machine but caught his sleeve leading to his arm being crushed as the baler operated.
MBIE Labour, General Manager Northern, John Howard said: “The basics of effective machine guarding are well known and have been for many years. This information is all freely available on the MBIE Labour website.”
“The decision of the judge regarding the level of reparation makes it clear that this was an extremely serious incident and she commented that it would not be appropriate to reduce the award because of the financial state of the business.
“All too often employees are seriously injured at work, when it is their fundamental right to go home safe at the end of their working day.”
Notes to Editors
General Recycle Limited was charged under section 6 and section 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
Every employer shall take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees while at work; and in particular shall take all practicable steps to—
(a) provide and maintain for employees a safe working environment; and
(b) provide and maintain for employees while they are at work facilities for their safety and health; and
(c) ensure that plant used by any employee at work is so arranged, designed, made, and maintained that it is safe for the employee to use; and
(d) ensure that while at work employees are not exposed to hazards arising out of the arrangement, disposal, manipulation, organisation, processing, storage, transport, working, or use of things—
(i) in their place of work; or
(ii) near their place of work and under the employer's control; and
(e) develop procedures for dealing with emergencies that may arise while employees are at work.
The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 is available online.