A. & A. Welch Limited

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
4 June 2013
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$60,000

Safety lessons learned:

In accordance with Regulation 17(1) of the Health and Safety in Employment Regulations 1995, the employer should make sure the auger of the silo was secured against movement and secured in the inoperative position by the use of locks or lock-out procedures before the employee enters the silo. A lockout procedure should be implemented and employees trained in and required to follow it.

Defendant name:
A. & A. Welch Limited
 
Industry:
Agriculture
 
Date of offence:
4 June 2013
 
Facts in brief:
The Defendant had employed a general hand. Part of the employee’s job was to clean the silos. To clean the silos, the employees enter the silo through a door situated approximately 3.5 metres off the ground. The employees access the silo by climbing a permanent ladder welded to the silo, enter the door, climb down stairs on the inside of the silo and using a belt rope, drop down into the silo and stand over the hole. They would then remove the grain off the silo wall either by brooming or scraping. The grain would then be emptied by auger which was under the hole on which the employees stood while cleaning.

After brooming one side of the silo the employee turned to broom the other. As he turned, he slipped, his foot slipping down into the running auger through the funnel hole which crushed and trapped his foot.

A fellow employee who was standing outside the silo realised something was wrong, switched the auger off. When he looked from the door into the silo the victim told him his left foot was stuck in the auger and to get help.

The victim suffered the amputation of his left big toe, disfigurement to his second toe and fractures to his left heel and foot when his foot came in contact with the auger positioned at the bottom of the silo.
 
Offence section:
Regulation 17(1)(c) Health and Safety in Employment Regulations 1995
 
Date charged:

Court:
Pukekohe - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Guilty
 
Fine imposed:
$60,000
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
$25,000 (plus $130 Court costs)