Miller Foods Limited trading as Remarkable Tortillas

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
23 November 2016
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
No fine imposed

Safety lessons learned:
  1. Implement a health and safety system which identifies and controls risks and hazards in the workplace;
    1. The defendant should have had adequate policies and procedures in place to ensure that risks were identified and appropriate control measures were implemented, maintained and monitored.
    2. The health and safety system should have been monitored to ensure that it was effective, and to ensure that workers followed the policies and procedures.
  2. Complete risk assessments of machinery;
      1. The defendant should have ensured that a detailed risk assessment was carried out for all machinery and the appropriate control measures implemented before it commenced operations.
      2. A competent person experienced in working with and using AS/NZS4024 should have been engaged if there was no relevant in-house expertise in machine guarding.
  3. Ensure machinery is adequately guarded;
      1. The defendant should have guarded the machine in accordance with AS/NZS 4024.
      2. An interlocked guard should have been put in place.
  4. Ensure workers are adequately trained in safe working procedures for operating machinery;
      1. Workers should have been trained in safe working procedures for operating the machine by a competent person.
      2. Training should have included safe work instructions for clearing jams and cleaning when the guard had to be opened.
  5. Ensure there is an appropriate emergency response system which workers are trained in and understood;
      1. The defendant should have had a documented emergency procedure and ensured that all workers were familiar with it and knew what to do in an emergency situation.

Defendant name:
Miller Foods Limited trading as Remarkable Tortillas
 
Industry:
Manufacturing
 
Date of offence:
23 November 2016
 
Facts in brief:
The Defendant manufactures and packages tortillas for sale.

The victim was employed by the defendant as an oven operator.

On 23 November 2016 the victim was working, operating the oven when a tortilla became jammed. The victim lifted the guard off the machine and used a spatula to try to remove the jammed tortilla.

The spatula got stuck between the metal conveyor slats and stopped the conveyor moving. The victim put on a heat resistant glove and reached in to get the tortilla and spatula out with his gloved hand. The conveyor began moving and his glove became caught. His glove, right hand and right arm were drawn into the machine.

The victim sustained soft tissue trauma above and below his right elbow, skin loss and extensive burn injuries and a fracture to the right radial head of his elbow. The tips of his right index, middle, and ring fingers were amputated as they did not heal and presented a risk of infection.
 
Offence section:
Sections 36(1)(a), 48(1) and (2)(c), of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
 
Date charged:

Court:
Queenstown - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
No fine imposed
 
Maximum fine available:
$1,500,000
 
Reparation:
$45,000.00 for emotional harm and $7,282.97 for consequential losses.