Auckland manufacturing plant is fined for $200,000 for inadequate safety guarding. The south auckland processing plant was fined after a worker lost her thumb while cleaning machinery.
It's a timely reminder for us as safety engineers, and also to our customers and other NZ manufacturing plants, to ensure machine safety is a top priority.
Businesses and organisations need to consider the full extent of their operations and all people who might be harmed as a result. Machinery safety often lacks the attention it is requires, and unfortunately this is a common case in NZ manufacturing plants.
WorkSafe’s investigation found workers were aware of the open latch to the blade but management was not, due to its obscured location. Health and safety matters at the site were raised in an ad-hoc way, and staff were using work-arounds which managers were also unaware of.
“This injury could have been avoided if the machinery was properly guarded to industry standard,” says WorkSafe’s national manager of investigations, Hayden Mander.
“Although a business might have standard operating procedures for machinery while it’s in use, it’s critical to think about how that extends to cleaning and maintenance too. Those uses can’t be dismissed as out of sight and out of mind.
“The business has now improved its health and safety procedures, but their experience provides a timely warning for other businesses. Clear guidance and standards have been in place for many years, and the wider manufacturing industry needs to take notice to stop injuring and killing its workers,” says Hayden Mander.