Ensure your employees know what they are doing

09/10/2014 12:46

Instructions and training could have prevented amputation

07 October 2014

Maintenance company ABB Maintenance Services Limited has been fined $31,500 and ordered to pay reparations of $50,000 after a worker had to have his right leg amputated below the knee following an incident in September 2013.

ABB Maintenance Services Limited was contracted by Carter Holt Harvey Pulp & Paper Limited to provide routine maintenance services at its Kinleith Pulp and Paper Mill in Tokoroa during an annual shutdown.

During work on a paper machine, a piece of machinery called a Roll Doctor was left unbolted. Contractor Greg O’Neill came to assist with the lift of a part of the paper machine and used the Roll Doctor as an anchor for the lift. The Roll Doctor landed on him, trapping his leg.

ABB Maintenance Services was sentenced today in the Rotorua District Court under the Health and Safety in Employment Act for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that no action or inaction of one of its employees harmed Mr O’Neill.

WorkSafe New Zealand’s Chief Inspector, Keith Stewart, says Mr O’Neill had no idea the Roll Doctor was unbolted – it appeared to him to be a permanent, fixed part of the paper machine.

“There were no signs, tags or any other notifications that would have warned him the Roll Doctor was unbolted,” says Keith Stewart. “If there had been, he would have been alert to the hazard it posed.

“Better hazard instructions to staff and appropriate staff training are practicable steps the company could have taken to prevent the accident.”