NZ company found guilty of health and safety failings - 25.11.20

A company in New Zealand specialising in waste and environmental services was found guilty of health and safety failings at a trial in August 2020 at the Hamilton District Court and sentenced last Wednesday.

In 2017, a man in suffered severe injuries after his arm got caught in a machine used to shred tyres. He was operating a tyre shredder at the company’s Keperehi site. Some debris obstructed the conveyor belt to the tyre shredder and so he attempted to remove it while the machine was running and his arm became trapped. The worker was unable to activate the emergency stop, but he eventually managed to free his arm.

The worker suffered degloving injuries and a broken forearm.

A WorkSafe investigation found guarding was missing from the conveyor belt which fed tyres into the machine, as it had been removed for modification. Despite having no machine guarding, the machine was still in use.

WorkSafe’s Area Manager Danielle Henry said it was unacceptable there was no safe system work is in place. “There was an emergency stop button, but its location meant it couldn’t be reached if a worker became trapped in the machine, which is what happened in this incident. “As well as this at the time of the incident the victim was operating the machine alone when there should have been adequate supervision to assist in the case of an emergency. A robust safe system of work, such as lock out tag out, would have prevented the tyre shredder and components being operated while the effected guarding was being modified.”

The company was fined $400,000 and $50,000 in reparation.

Source: OHS Daily News