Auckland company fined after worker loses finger tip

By George Driver

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

An Auckland employer has been forced to pay $25,000 after a worker lost the tip of one finger and had another stitched up in an accident last November.

Baylor Ltd of Mt Wellington previously pleaded guilty to one charge under the Health and Safety in Employment Act and was fined $20,000 and reparations of $5000 during sentencing at the Auckland District Court today.

The woman was working on a machine that heat-sealed sachets of dishwashing granules when two of her fingers became trapped in the jaws of the machine.

Her index finger was severed at the nail and could not be re-attached but her partially severed middle finger was able to be saved.

MBIE Health and Safety group's chief inspector investigations Keith Stewart said the accident was avoidable.

"The worker spent eight days in hospital as a result of the company's failure to protect her at work.

"This incident was preventable - the company should have had a guard around the heat-sealing jaws and the guard should have had an interlock device on it which would have ensured it could not operate while the guard was open," he said.

"They've now installed the correct equipment, but it comes too late for a worker who should have been able to expect she'd be able to go home at the end of her shift, not to the hospital in an ambulance."


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