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Court Summary - at a glance
- Ensure there are effective systems in place to implement and monitor appropriate controls for the risk the nip point presented;
- Ensure workers are isolated from the nip point by adequately guarding the hopper of the baler machine;
- Have effective processes and procedures in place for clearing blockages on the baler machine;
- Ensure workers are adequately trained in how to clear blockages on the baler machine.
The core of the Defendant’s workforce (82 of 110 workers) are disabled workers. The other workers (referred to as ‘mainstream workers’) are supervisors, process workers and/or drivers. The Defendant’s core business is recycling, and the company relies on a contract with the Ministry of Social Development, and its contract with WasteNet.
The contract with WasteNet is currently under review, with there being public interest and publicity around this review.
The victim was one of the mainstream workers. He was asked by a disabled worker to assist with the baler, which was not working properly. The victim realised that a piece of product was jammed in the hopper in which the perforator is located. The victim followed the lock-out procedure, then climbed onto the baler. He was unable to reach some of the lower bottles which were causing the blockage, and entered the chute of the hopper to reach the bottles. While standing in the hopper, the victim felt something revolve and trap his foot. He received injuries from pulling his foot out of the hopper.
Injuries – right compound fracture to his heel bone, talus, tibia, and ankle and leg fractures. Nerve damage to spine.
$3,648.87 for consequential loss