Mid Canterbury's two main players in the red meat processing industry have been hit in the pocket for a combined total of almost $170,000 for failing to keep workers safe.

ANZCO and Silver Fern Farms representatives appeared for sentencing before Judge Joanna Maze in the Ashburton District Court yesterday, on charges of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of the worker, laid under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.

The ANZCO charge related to the crushing injuries inflicted on 21-year-old Halal slaughterman Hisham Almansi when he became trapped in a hydraulic gate at the company's Seafield plant on June 3 last year.

He was left with severe head injuries, broken legs, a fractured back and a lacerated liver, and later suffered a stroke as a consequence.


Judge Maze convicted the company and awarded Mr Almansi $68,000 in reparations to reflect the emotional harm he continues to suffer as a consequence of the accident. ANZCO had already contributed $12,000 toward topping up Mr Almansi's ACC payments.

The company was further fined $39,000 for failing to ensure his safety, however Judge Maze noted its good record in terms of safety.

Silver Fern Farms was fined $38,000 and ordered to make reparations of $2500 to Trevor Taylor as a result of a work place accident at the company's Fairton plant, which also occurred in June last year.

A longtime employee, Mr Taylor was working as a cleaner at the plant during the offseason when he was electrocuted when the hearth brush he was using came into contact with a live cable underneath cabinetry.

He was temporarily blinded and left with burns to his face and arms.

Silver Fern Farms had already contributed $10,000 toward Mr Taylor's costs and this was considered when determining the emotional harm component of the reparation payment.

The maximum fine available for both charges was $250,000.

- Ashburton Guardian