Manufacturing Company Fined Over Preventable Accident

( A Lower Hutt company has been fined $24,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $8,000 after a worker was seriously injured because the machine he was working on wasn’t adequately guarded.

The employee of Dexion Commercial (New Zealand) Limited, which trades as Precision, got his hand caught in a punch and forming press on 1 March 2010. The employee put his hand into an opening in the guard to get a metal strip into place on the machine. While he was doing this he accidentally touched the foot pedal and the press crushed his hand.

“This accident could easily have been prevented had the machine been properly guarded,” says Department of Labour Central Regional Manger, Brett Murray.

“Employers have a legal duty to ensure that adequate guards are in place to prevent injuries.

“Sadly these types of accidents are happening all too often because employers don’t seem to be taking machine guarding seriously.

“This is a major area of focus for the Department. A three-year machine guarding project is underway in an attempt to reduce the number of injuries.

“The Department has guidelines available on its website on the safe use of machinery. Had Precision followed these guidelines their worker might not have been injured.

“Since the accident the company has addressed the guarding issues on the machine to prevent a similar accident from happening.”

Media Release 19 November 2010 from Department of Labour.