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Wellington food manufacturer fined $260,000 after worker’s hand injured in pastry machine

News from WorkSafe NZ
A Wellington business which continued to operate unguarded machinery resulting in serious hand injuries to a worker has been fined $260,000.

In a Judge’s decision released last week, food manufacturer Oriental Cuisine Limited was ordered to pay reparation of more than $40,000 after a worker’s hand was drawn into a machine used to make pastry in July 2018.

The worker suffered fractures and the complete degloving of his middle and index finger on his left hand. He also received lacerations to his thumb and ring fingers.

WorkSafe’s investigation found that prior to the incident being reported to WorkSafe, the pastry roller was cleaned with an air gun and continued to be used to make food products including noodles and dumplings.

The investigation also found multiple unguarded rollers and exposed nip points on the machine.

WorkSafe’s Chief Inspector Steve Kelly said there are too many workers whose safety is compromised by having to operate inadequately guarded machinery.

“The need to guard machinery is a legal requirement and one of the easiest ways to ensure your workers’ safety. It’s not new and businesses must ensure these simple protective devices are installed, and operated, on their machinery.

“It might seem like health and safety 101, but if a machine doesn’t have adequate guarding, then it shouldn’t be used. It’s that simple.”

Oriental Cuisine Limited

– A fine of $260,000 was imposed.

– Reparation of $40,568 was ordered.

– Oriental Cuisine Limited was 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, that the health and safety or workers who work for the PCBU, while the workers are at work in the business or undertaking, namely operating the pastry and noodle roller 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 entanglement hazard.

– S 48(2)(c) carries a maximum penalty of $1,500,000.

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