New Zealand has clearly defined standards for how machinery should be guarded, and WorkSafe says they’re still not being met by too many companies
“Too many workers are being seriously injured as a result of substandard guarding,” says WorkSafe’s Head of Specialist Interventions Simon Humphries.
Locker Group (NZ) Ltd appeared in Manukau district court recently on health and safety charges after a worker was badly injured by an inadequately guarded machine.
Locker Group manufactures and sells metal and mesh products for the construction industry.
The worker was injured in April 2016 when his hands were crushed by a piece of machinery that folds sheet metal.
He had to undergo significant medical work including finger amputations.
Humphries says the injuries had irrevocably changed the worker’s life.
“This sentencing serves as a reminder that machinery needs to be designed safely in the first place.
“Engineers of these types of machines are often overseas and they are not designed to New Zealand’s standards, or to keep workers safe from harm.”
“When your machinery arrives, it needs to be reviewed against New Zealand standards for safety, and the risk of harm mitigated accordingly.”
The defendant had already paid $57,000 in voluntary payments, but a fine of $236,250 was imposed and further reparations of $10,00 were ordered.
Locker Group (NZ) Ltd was sentenced under sections 36(1)(a), 48(1) and (2)(b) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015:
“Being a PCBU, failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the health and safety of a worker who worked for the PCBU, while the worker was at work in the business or undertaking, and this failure exposed the worker to a risk of serious injury.”