NSCA Foundation

Fine issued to company over severed fingers

Friday, 07 April, 2017

A landscaping and outdoor timber supplier has been fined over an incident that saw its employee lose two fingers while using an unsafe rotating blade saw.

TW Transport Ltd appeared in the Christchurch District Court, charged with failing to take practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employee at work.

WorkSafe New Zealand’s investigation found that one of the two blade guards required for safe operation of a blade saw was missing. The other guard could not be adjusted to maintain the recommended gap of 12 mm or less between the guard and the timber, exposing workers to the saw blade when the saw was in use.

“This case highlights that businesses must constantly assess their risks and put strategies in place to manage them. This would have highlighted the danger of having the blade unprotected, and guarding and proper training could have avoided this incident,” WorkSafe Chief Inspector Keith Stewart said.

“A lack of effective health and safety systems and practices has resulted in a severe injury to one of its workers.”

TW Transport Ltd faced one charge under section 6 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.

It was fined $33,750 and ordered to pay the victim reparation of $20,000 for emotional harm and $2069.60 for financial loss. The charge carries a maximum $250,000 fine.

This incident took place prior to the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act in 2016.

NSCA Foundation is a member based, non-profit organisation working together with members to improve workplace health and safety throughout Australia. For more information and membership details click here
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