N.Z. Woodtex Limited

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
18 March 2014 and 22 October 2014
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$15,000 for Section 6
$1000 for Section 25(3)(a)

Safety lessons learned:
  1. To have ensured that the lid guard was bolted down to prevent immediate access to the twin rotating saw blades;
  2. To have installed a timed interlocked guard lid on the Edger.  A timed interlocked guard would cut power to the machine if the lid was opened and would prevent access to the twin saw blades until after they had de-energised and stopped rotating;
  3. To have put in place a documented Safe Operating Procedure that included the steps to be taken in the event of a jam; and
  4. To have provided comprehensive training to its employees so that staff operating the Edger were aware of the hazards and how to avoid injury.

Defendant name:
N.Z. Woodtex Limited
 
Industry:
Manufacturing
 
Date of offence:
18 March 2014 and 22 October 2014
 
Facts in brief:
The defendant operates a timber processing plant. The defendant employed the victim as a casual worker.

In respect of the section 6 offence, the victim was assisting two other employees to mill timber on a Wood-Mizer Twin Bladed Edger (“the Edger”). The Edger is used to cut slabs of milled timber into various widths. A piece of timber jammed inside the Edger. The victim lifted the steel lid, which covered the Edger’s twin saw blades, and reached in to push the board down and clear the jam. The victim’s hand came into contact with a spinning blade.

The victim’s thumb was amputated and the blade cut through the palm of his hand severing the tendons of all of his fingers and cutting through the metacarpals of his left ring and little finger.

In respect of the section 25(3)(a) offence, the victim was operating a Woodwool machine when he suffered a crushing injury to his right index finger. The victim sustained an open fracture of the distal phalanx that required 12 stitches and splinting. He was medically certified as unfit for work for two months.

The defendant, having been advised of the injury by the victim, failed to notify the regulator that an employee had suffered serious harm as required by the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.
 
Offence section:
Section 6 and 25(3)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
Section 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act
 
Date charged:

Court:
Hamilton - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$15,000 for Section 6
$1000 for Section 25(3)(a)
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
$35,000