Worker injured by unsafe machine
6 April 2011
An Auckland manufacturer has been fined $26,500 for an accident in February 2010 at its plant which led to part of a worker’s finger being amputated.
Ingersoll-Rand Architectural Hardware Limited was also ordered to pay reparations of $5,000.
At the time of the accident the employee was making parts of door hinges on a punch and forming press machine. He was removing a completed part when his finger was crushed by the machine, requiring part of it to be amputated.
“Even though the machine was guarded, our investigation found that the machine and the guarding weren’t regularly maintained and the guarding wasn’t working properly,” says the Department of Labour’s Northern Regional Manager, Claire Morris.
“This worker has lost part of a finger because the company didn’t take the appropriate precautions on the machine.
“Sadly hundreds of people are injured in New Zealand workplaces every year in similar accidents. We have a project under way to reduce the number of serious harm and fatal accidents resulting from the unsafe use of machinery.
“We’re focusing on industries such as food processing and manufacturing, which have a high number of incidents involving inadequate guards.”
“Since the project started in August 2010, we’ve visited 575 workplaces across the country to discuss the project and increase awareness of machine guarding,” Ms Morris says.
Note to Editor
- Ingersoll-Rand Architectural Hardware Limited was convicted on one charge under Section 6 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992. This states: 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.