Restaurant fined after employee seriously injured in pasta machine

Wednesday 17 October 2012, 5:40PM
By Department of Labour


A Tauranga restaurant has been ordered to pay a fine of $20,000 and reparation of $6,000 after an employee sustained serious injuries after trapping his arm in a pasta maker.

The Tauranga District Court heard that on 10 January this year an employee of the Volare Restaurant was preparing fresh pasta in an industrial-sized pasta mixer where the raw ingredients were combined and then extruded into the required pasta shapes.

As he opened the lid to check the consistency of the pasta dough the employee’s arm became caught around the mixing rod in the hopper. Before he could stop the machine he had received multiple fractures, soft tissue damage and tendon and nerve damage to his left arm.

The Court heard that the interlock switch on the pasta machine was broken, meaning that the mixing arm inside the pasta machine did not automatically stop when the lid was open. The machine should have been taken out of operation until the interlock switch was fixed.

MBIE Labour, Northern General Manager John Howard said: “It is easy to forget that a commercial kitchen can be a dangerous workplace. It is the duty of the employer to ensure that all hazards are identified and managed to ensure the safety of staff with a hazard register and written safe operating procedures.