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Manufacturing company Proform Plastics Limited was today fined $42,000 after a worker narrowly avoided being seriously injured by unguarded machinery.
The Hamilton District Court heard that on 7 October 2011 an employee of the Hamilton-based company was using a computer numerical control router machine to trim tailgates.
A tailgate jammed in the machine, and believing it had stopped completely, the worker reached across to cut the tailgate free with a grinder. The blade of the machine began moving again, cutting the worker’s arm and causing minor injuries.
“This man is extremely lucky to have sustained only minor injuries. The outcome could have been much worse,” says the Department of Labour’s Central General Manager Ona De Rooy.
“All too often we see preventable deaths and injuries resulting from poorly guarded machinery and the lack of associated safety procedures,” says Ms De Rooy.
The Department’s three-year Safe Use of Machinery Project launched in 2010 is focused on reducing injury and harm caused by poorly guarded machinery.
“There is no excuse for preventable injuries happening at work,” says Ms De Rooy.
“This accident could have been avoided entirely if Proform Plastics had put in place adequate guarding and interlocking devices to ensure the safety of its workers.
“We encourage all employers to familiarise themselves with the machine guarding information available on the Department’s website,” she says.