The Pallet Company (Hawkes Bay) Limited

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
22 February 2014
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$36,000

Safety lessons learned:
  1. Ensure that all pinch points on the machine are properly guarded;
  2. Ensure regular hazard assessments are undertaken;
  3. Actively monitoring the continued safe use of the machine.
  4. Ensuring workers are not fatigued when operating machinery.
  5. Complying with Australian Standard AS 4024 re Safety of Machinery or other equivalent standard, namely to isolate exposed running nip points.
  6. Ensure the Health and Safety Committee receives regular training.

Defendant name:
The Pallet Company (Hawkes Bay) Limited
 
Industry:
Manufacturing
 
Date of offence:
22 February 2014
 
Facts in brief:
The Defendant produces wooden pallets and bins for the horticultural industry. On 22 February 2014 the victim, an employee of the Defendant, was feeding timber into a machine known as the PENDU machine to assist the machine’s operator. Part of his task was to ensure that the timber was in the correct position to go into the machine. The timber had to be pushed manually. The PENDU machine was guarded but there was an unguarded pinch point between the exposed chain and sprocket drive at the end of the conveyor belt system that fed into the machine.

He reached out to rotate a length of timber with his right hand to ensure that it entered the PENDU machine in the correct position. He was holding a beverage in his left hand and drinking from this when his right thumb was caught in between the exposed chain and sprocket drive of the conveyer belt system. He suffered crushing injuries to his right thumb requiring surgery and subsequent amputation of the thumb from the first knuckle.
 
Offence section:
S6 Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
 
Date charged:

Court:
Napier - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$36,000
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
$8,000