A Porirua plastics manufacturer has been fined $45,000 for failing to guard dangerous machinery.

Kiwi Plastic Company Limited was convicted of failing to guard two of its bag sealing machines after an unannounced visit by Department of Labour inspectors found the guards had been removed.

The machines, which seal the sides of plastic supermarket bags, could heat up to 210degC.

Inspectors also found an employee had been taught to over-ride automatic shutdown mechanisms.


Kiwi Plastics and its director, Angelus Tay, were prosecuted for a similar offence in 2002 when three employees were seriously injured.

"We've worked with this company to try to improve procedures and the $45,000 fine sends a very strong message to other employers to take machine guarding in the workplace seriously," the department's Wellington service manager Dave Hulston said.

In a reserved sentencing decision, District Court Judge Tom Broadmore said Mr Tay "talked the talk" but his company's safety record showed only minimum compliance.