A Countdown operator has been fined $45,000 after a deli worker had to have her thumb amputated after she sliced it while deboning a ham.

In February the deli assistant manager at Countdown Birkenhead was deboning a ham on an automated slicer when her thumb hit the blade.

Her thumb had to be amputated as a result of the incident.

The supermarket's operator General Distributors was yesterday fined $45,000 because it failed to take all practicable steps to ensure the employer was not exposed to hazards, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment spokesman John Howard said.


The incident could have been avoided through the use of guarding, he said.

General Distributors was also ordered to pay reparations of $5000.