Amcor Flexibles (New Zealand) Limited

On 5 April 2016 a worker had the tip of his thumb amputated when a nip bar was removed from extrusion machine.

Alleged breach

Sections 36(1)(a) and 48 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

Summary of undertaking

Amcor Flexibles (New Zealand) Limited will:

  • Invest in an electronic health and safety management system
  • Join the Business Leaders Health and Safety Forum
  • Commission an article for Safeguard magazine (and other magazines if agreeable) detailing its learning from the incident
  • Work with educational providers (Manukau Institute of Technology and University of Canterbury) to improve safety and awareness of guarding standards for engineering students
  • Make a donation to raise awareness of and/or improve workplace safety in the Pacific Island community
  • Provide reparations to the victim

This enforceable undertaking has a total expenditure of at least $116,712 (includes WorkSafe’s recoverable costs).

Reasons for Accepting the Undertaking

  • The alleged contravention is not a section 47 (reckless conduct) offence which would preclude it from being accepted.
  • The enforceable undertaking meets the requirements of WorkSafe’s Enforceable Undertakings Operational Policy document dated December 2016; in particular noting:
    • The nature of the alleged misconduct and how serious it was.
      • Amcor Flexibles (New Zealand) Limited had health and safety systems in place but these did not identify that the running nip was unguarded at the time of the incident. Its culpability was assessed as medium.
      • The injury was serious (an amputation of the tip of a thumb), however the victim recovered well with full functionality restored.  The victim has returned to full duties at work and the injury has had no lasting impact on their work or social activities. 
    • Submissions received from any interested party, including any victim(s), in relation to the contravention.
      • Acceptable amends were provided to the victim.
      • The victim was supportive of an enforceable undertaking as an alternative to a prosecution.
    • The person’s conduct in respect of mitigation and remedial action, regarding both the contravention and any person affected by the contravention (including victims).
      • Amcor Flexibles (New Zealand) Limited has-
        • expressed regret and remorse for the incident.
        • made a number of rectifications to prevent reoccurrence of such an incident, which  includes substantial expenditure on improved guarding and training of staff. 
        • made a statement confirming that the behaviour, activities and other factors which led to the contravention have ceased and will not reoccur.
        • shown a commitment to implementing the activities agreed in this undertaking.
      • The activities in the enforceable undertaking will provide long-term sustainable health and safety improvements in the workplace, industry and community. 
    • The person’s past performance and history of compliance with health and safety legislation.
      • Amcor Flexibles (New Zealand) Limited does not have any previous health and safety convictions.
    • Any other matter which WorkSafe thinks relevant
      • The undertaking offers sufficient benefit to offset the seriousness of the offending.
      • The undertaking accounts for the benefits that accrue to the PCBU by the prosecution not proceeding.

Date accepted

26 April 2017

Further information

View the full Amcor Flexibles (New Zealand) Limited enforceable undertaking here.

Enforceable undertaking - Amcor Flexibles (NZ) Ltd  (PDF 1.2 MB)