A company has been fined $332,000 after a March 2017 incident in which an inexperienced worker's hand was amputated in a piece of machinery.

Alliance Group Limited appeared in the Timaru District Court on Wednesday.

The court heard the worker had been employed at the Smithfield plant for only five days and was left unsupervised on a task.

Due to the worker's lack of familiarity with the job, he opened a section of the machinery used for dehydrating blood into a powder and placed his right hand inside. The hand came in contact with a rotating screw and was amputated.


WorkSafe's investigation found Alliance Group had failed to ensure the health and safety of its workers and it was reasonably practicable for it to have undertaken an adequate risk assessment of the machine and to ensure it was adequately guarded.

WorkSafe's spokesman Simon Humphries said: "The level of injury and trauma this worker endured as a result of Alliance's failings will impact him for the rest of his life.

"This is a stark reminder to others operating machinery in every industry to ensure machinery is adequately guarded.

"New Zealand has rigorous and accessible standards for machine guarding – adhering to them and mitigating the risks your machinery poses is imperative to keeping workers safe from harm."

The company was sentenced under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and fined $332,000, in addition to voluntarily making reparations prior to sentencing.

The company had also since ensured a guard was added to the machine and a standard operating procedure produced for it.