A Hastings sausage casing company has been fined $210,000 and ordered to pay $18,000 to a worker whose hand was trapped for 20 minutes in a machine.

NZCC, which processes and supplies sausage casings, was sentenced at the Hastings District Court on Wednesday after the July 2017 accident.

It pleaded guilty to a charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 of failing to ensure the health and safety of workers operating a finishing/cleaning machine exposing an individual to a risk of death or serious injury.

A worker's left hand was trapped for about 20 minutes between two rollers while they were operating a sausage casing machine.


The worker suffered a broken wrist and degloving of the back of the hand, requiring skin grafts.

WorkSafe's investigation found that after a similar accident on a sausage casing machine two years earlier, NZCC Ltd employed an engineer whose proposed solutions proved to be ineffective.

The company then reverted to using the machine in its unsafe state. The sausage casing machine in which the second worker was injured was in the same unsafe state.

The fine and reparation was on top of $10,000 it had already paid the victim.

WorkSafe's chief inspector Hayden Mander said it was important to make sure machines met required safety standards and that effective safety protocols were in place.

He said the engineer did not know the relevant machinery safety standards but instead of giving up and using the machine when it was unsafe, NZCC Ltd should have sought help from a machinery expert with proper knowledge.

"The company's failure to address a known safety issue has left the worker with significant, and completely unnecessary, injuries.

"This is powerful machinery which is able to cause serious injury. Employers should always ensure safety precautions are in place and workers are kept out of harm's way."