Keep Your Guard Up

01/08/2013 19:47

Carterton wood products manufacturer fined

25 July 2013

Juken New Zealand Limited has been fined $33,000 and ordered to pay reparations to the victim of $5000 following a serious injury accident at its Carterton plant.

Juken New Zealand appeared in the Masterton District Court today for sentencing.

The Carterton plant produces timber products, principally for the Japanese market. The victim was working on one of the wood driers in the plant which jammed on 5 September last year. While checking on the jam, his clothing became entangled in a chain and sprocket drive on the conveyer.

He called to workmates, but could not be heard. After managing, with some effort, to hit two limit switches to stop the conveyor, he was able to attract attention to his situation and was cut out of the conveyer. He suffered severe burns from the heat of the chain which required skin grafts.

“The company did not guard the dangerous parts of this drier nor make provision for safe access to the conveyor interlock system, and as a result a worker has been seriously injured,” the Chief Inspector Investigations for the Health and Safety Group Keith Stewart said.

“We have been running a machine guarding campaign for some time now, and it is very disappointing to see any company, but particularly a large employer like Juken New Zealand, not meeting its obligations to its workers and the law,” Mr Stewart said.

Juken New Zealand Limited was charged under section 6 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act with failing to take all practicable steps to protect its employee while at work in that it failed to take all practicable steps to ensure he was not exposed to hazards arising out of the use of a conveyor. The maximum fine under this section is $250,000.