Taylor Preston fined $65,000 after worker loses two fingers in meat skinning machine

News from Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment
Wellington meat processor Taylor Preston was this week fined $65,000 and ordered to pay reparations of $12,080 after a worker had two fingers amputated by an unguarded meat skinning machine.

In January 2012, despite specifically being told by the company not to do so, the worker was attempting to clean part of the machine when his fingers were amputated.

In his decision delivered in October last year, Judge Mill said the company should have been aware that a hazard existed and should have guarded the machine.

“It is not enough simply to train your staff not to do certain things. As this case so unfortunately shows, staff do not always do as they are trained and employers must look beyond the training to proper hazard identification in their workplaces,” said Francois Barton, the Ministry’s Southern Regional Health and Safety General Manager.

“It was Taylor Preston’s responsibility to ensure it had considered the hazard that could exist if the worker didn’t abide by the rules and mitigate the hazard. Installing a guard would have stopped this worker losing two fingers,” Mr Barton said.

Detailed information on safe machine-guarding principles is on our website.

Note: Although Judge Mill delivered his guilty verdict in October last year, he only released his sentencing decision on Monday.

Notes to Editors
Taylor Preston was charged under section 6(d)(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act – failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that while at work employees are not exposed to hazards
The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 is available online: http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1992/0096/latest/DLM278829.html

 

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