Toilet paper manufacturer fined $315K over inadequately guarded machinery incident

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Photo: Mdesigns, Pixabay

A toilet paper manufacturer received a sentencing decision in the Manukau District Court on Tuesday after a worker was hurt on inadequately guarded machinery.

The worker suffered from several injuries after his arms were caught in rollers. He also sustained rib fractures in the incident and was left with long-term side effects requiring further surgery.

An investigation into the incident revealed that the guarding on the machinery departed significantly from current industry standards and that while the risks had been identified during previous risk assessments, no long-term or interim solutions had been put in place.

“This worker was needlessly injured by a risk that had been identified – but not mitigated effectively,” said WorkSafe New Zealand’s Head of Specialist Interventions, Simon Humphries.

“There is so much information and guidance available to companies and it must be implemented. Now is the time to stop and assess your machinery and stop an accident before it occurs. Do this before you find yourself with an injured worker and under the scrutiny of an investigation.”

A fine of $315,000 was imposed. Reparations of $45,000 were ordered.

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