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Steel company fined

2 August 2013

Lower Hutt steel manufacturer Kiwi Steel has been fined $52,000 and ordered to pay reparations of $15,000 to the victim after a worker had three fingers amputated in an accident on 12 December last year.

The company was sentenced today at the Lower Hutt District Court on one charge laid by the Health and Safety Group of failing to ensure the safety of the victim.

The worker received the injury when trying to unjam a blockage on a cut-to-length guillotine. A guard had not been fitted to the rear of the machine, although it had been supplied, allowing him to access the area where the accident occurred. Although all three fingers were surgically re-attached, one was subsequently removed.

“It is simply unacceptable that a guard which would have stopped this needless accident happening was sitting near the machine, but had not been fitted,” Keith Stewart Chief Inspector Investigations said.

“The hazard associated with the guillotine’s operation hadn’t been identified by Kiwi Steel and nor had the victim been instructed not to operate it if it was unguarded.

“The victim had every right to expect that he would leave Kiwi Steel’s plant safe at the end of his shift, not in an ambulance to hospital,” Mr Stewart said.

Section 6 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

 

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