A company has been fined $293,000 after a worker's hand was trapped in machinery for 10 minutes in a horror workplace injury.

The female employee has likely lost the full use of her hand after getting it caught in a chain at a Napier meat processing business. She will receive $40,000 in reparations as part of the sentencing.

WorkSafe NZ says the incident could have been prevented if there had been adequate guards in place at the time.

Fresh Meats NZ Limited was sentenced at the Napier District Court last Friday and ordered to pay a total of $293,000 in fines and reparation after the worker's hand was caught in machinery in November 2018.


A fine of $253,125 was imposed with reparation of $40,000 (including $10,000 consequential loss) ordered.

The worker was cleaning the chains used to move carcasses when her arm became trapped in the moving parts.

It took the victim's co-workers 10 minutes to help free her hand.

She suffered extensive lacerations and trauma to muscles, tendons, nerves, blood vessels and bones in her right hand and wrist. She may never have full use of her hand again.

Fresh Meats is a slaughter and processing company that processes over 250,000 lambs a year.

Adequately guarded machinery would have prevented the injuries, WorkSafe acting chief inspector Danielle Henry said.

"The importance of machine guarding has been a focus area across all industries for many years.

"Though a task instruction sheet prepared by the company clearly stated that machinery should only be cleaned when it was turned off, our investigation found it was common practice for staff to clean the machinery while it was moving."