Image

Businesses must ensure machines are guarded to highest standard

15 September 2020

A worker who was seven weeks into his first job has been left unable to return to work after he lost three fingers and part of his palm as the result of a traumatic amputation in unguarded machinery.

Yesterday, Taranaki Sawmills Limited was sentenced at the New Plymouth District Court for failing to ensure the machine was safe for workers to operate and WorkSafe is now reminding all businesses that machinery must be guarded to the highest standard for all aspects of work carried out on the plant.

In February 2018 the worker was operating a large finger-jointing machine when it became jammed. When the worker went to clear the jam his arm became caught, and was exposed to cutting tools. As a result, three of his fingers were amputated along with two thirds of the palm on his right hand. He has been unable to return to work since the incident.

WorkSafe’s investigation found that where the worker was attempting to clear the jam there was no effective guarding or emergency stops on the machine, said Acting Chief Inspector Danielle Henry.

“In this instance there was more than one location workers were required to operate the machine from and the company had failed to guard the machine for each location.

“The manufacturing industry needs to be placing the importance of risk assessment and continuous review of their controls high on their agendas.

“Time and time again we are seeing workers sustain life changing injury as a result of operating unguarded machinery. What makes this even more tragic is this young worker has had his career cut short.”

Notes:

  • A fine of $231,000 was imposed.
  • Reparation of $43,292 (including $15,000 already paid to the victim and $3292 in consequential loss) was ordered.
  • Taranaki Sawmills Limited were sentenced under sections 36(1)(a), 48(1) and (2)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
  • Being a PCBU having a duty to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable the safety of workers who work for the PCBU, while the workers are at work in the business or undertaking, namely while operating a finger jointing machine, did fail to comply with that duty, and that failure exposed the workers to a risk of serious injury arising from exposure to a crushing and/or cutting hazard created by unguarded moving carriages and cutting implements.
  • S 48(2)(c) carries a maximum penalty of $1.5 million.
Media contact details

For more information you can contact our Media Team using our media request form. Alternatively, you can:

Phone: 021 823 007 or Email: media@worksafe.govt.nz

Source: WorkSafe

Read More
Image

Mapping Gisborne’s worst eroding land

Gisborne land adaptation shifts have received positive feedback from both the Eastland Wood Council and an environmental group. The region’s farmers and forestry companies might end up with designated land they can’t operate on under new council plans. Council chief ...
Read more
Image

Canadian developed Hydrogen-diesel system secured

HVMS, a leading provider in the decarbonisation of transportation, has announced the establishment of its partnership with Canadian company Diesel Tech Industries, to establish installation facilities for the Guardian Hydrogen Diesel System. This initiative marks a significant step towards advancing sustainable ...
Read more
Image

Australian timber framing industry gets a boost

Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) is set to spearhead an initiative highlighting the advantages of timber framing in construction, promising a significant boost to its promotion efforts. First established in the Australian Forest Products Association’s Softwood Manufacturing Chamber, and funded by ...
Read more
Image

Who’s transforming our economy with renewable resources?

The opportunities for converting forestry fibre to renewable resources to replace fossil fuel based products are growing every year. The adoption of bioenergy and related technologies / products in New Zealand and internationally, sourced from forestry and wood products companies ...
Read more
Image

New trade agreement a boost for NZ wood processors

Increased export opportunities through the removal of tariffs for 41 wood products included within the ‘Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability’ is welcomed by New Zealand’s wood processing and manufacturing industry. ‘Under brand New Zealand we have a leading story to ...
Read more
Image

Södra to become the largest producer of kraft lignin in the world

As a step in the strategy of getting more out of every tree, Södra is now establishing a new business to become a world leader in the production of kraft lignin. Södra’s production facility will be the first commercial facility ...
Read more
Image

NZ National Exotic Forest Description survey – data needed

On 1 April 2024, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) sent out the 2024 National Exotic Forest Description (NEFD) survey. The survey is critical for informing wood availability forecasts, which underpin infrastructure and wood processing investment decisions, as well as contributing to a ...
Read more
Image

Unlimited potential of virtual reality for forest thinning

How a virtual reality (VR) and gaming engine could add another tool to the forestry training kit. A future where new foresters are trained to thin trees from the safety of a virtual reality forest before more advanced real-world training could be ...
Read more
Image

Growing the potential of NZ’s forestry sector in partnership

Forestry Minister, Todd McClay, has announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. ...
Read more