Worker‘s arm caught in tyre shredder
A company has been fined $400,000 after a worker suffered severe injuries when his arm got caught in a machine used to shred tyres.
Waste Management NZ was found guilty of health and safety failings at a trial in August and was sentenced at the Hamilton District Court on Monday.
It was fined $400,000 and ordered to pay $50,000 to the victim, who was operating a tyre shredder when debris obstructed the conveyor belt at the Kerepehi site in November 2017.
When the worker attempted to remove the debris while the machine was running, his arm became trapped and he was unable to activate the emergency stop but eventually managed to free his arm.
As a result the worker suffered degloving injuries and a broken forearm.
A WorkSafe investigation found guarding was missing from the conveyor belt, which fed tyres into the machine, as it had been removed for modification.
Despite having no guarding, the machine was still in use.
Not only was it unacceptable that the machine was being used without guarding but there was no safe system of work in place, says WorkSafe’s area manager, Danielle Henry.
“There was an emergency stop button but its location meant it could not be reached if a worker became trapped in the machine, which is what happened in this incident.
“As well as this, at the time of the incident the victim was operating the machine alone, when there should have been adequate supervision to assist in the case of an emergency.”
A robust safe system of work would have prevented the tyre shredder and components being operated while the affected guarding was being modified, says Henry.
“Businesses need to quit removing the very guarding that is in place to keep people safe.
“Waste Management NZ Ltd should not have allowed this machine to be used without guarding or safe processes in place.”