Christchurch, New Zealand – A landscaping and outdoor timber supplier has been fined after an employee lost two fingers while using an unsafe rotating blade saw to cut timber.
WorkSafe New Zealand’s investigation found one of the two blade guards required for safe operation of the saw was missing. The other guard could not be adjusted to maintain the recommended gap of 12mm or less between the guard and the timber, exposing workers to the saw blade when the saw was in use.
“This case highlights that businesses must constantly assess their risks and put strategies in place to manage them. This would have highlighted the danger of having the blade unprotected, and guarding and proper training could have avoided this incident,” said WorkSafe Chief Inspector Keith Stewart.
“A lack of effective health and safety systems and practices has resulted in a severe injury to one of its workers.”
The company was charged for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employees while at work and was fined $33,759. It was ordered to pay the victim reparation of $20,000 for emotional harm and $2,069.60 for financial loss.