Mamaku Sawmilling Company Limited

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
5 November 2014
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$10,000

Safety lessons learned:
  1. To have installed effective perimeter guarding around the machine to ensure workers could not access the hazardous area;
  2. To have installed a timed interlocked guard or similar device on any access gate.  A timed interlocked guard or similar device would cut power to the machine if the gate is opened and would have prevented access to the rollers until after they had de-energised and stopped rotating;
  3. To have ensured that the machine was secured against movement, including inadvertent movement;
  4. To have effectively supervised and monitored their employees to ensure that they understood and followed an effective safe work procedure when cleaning around the machine.

Defendant name:
Mamaku Sawmilling Company Limited
 
Industry:
Manufacturing
 
Date of offence:
5 November 2014
 
Facts in brief:
The Defendant company operated a sawmill at Mamaku, Rotorua. The Pineapple Roller machine (“Pineapple”) formed part of the production line. It was an automated machine designed to feed timber from a moving deck to another part of the production line.

On the day of the incident, the victim was using an air compressor to clean the area around the Pineapple during a break in production caused by a power surge. Unbeknownst to the victim, the Pineapple was turned on. The air compressor hose activated the Pineapple’s electronic photo-eye sensor, which signalled the clamping mechanism of the Pineapple’s rollers to close. The air compressor hose was pulled into the rollers. The victim had his back to the rollers and as he turned his arm was pulled between the rollers.

The victim sustained a serious crush injury to his left elbow, with open compound fractures, and a closed fracture to his left little finger.
 
Offence section:
Sections 6 and 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act
 
Date charged:

Court:
Rotorua - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$10,000
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
$40,000