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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters



OSH Tracker

Department of Labour v Galapine (DC, 26/05/95)

OSH Tracker

Defendant:
Galapine
Interference with an accident scene and misleading an OSH inspector resulted in a fine of $3000 under s26(1) of the HSE Act for timber processor Galapine Limited in the Otahuhu District Court on 26 May.  This fine was in addition to one of $7000 for failing to ensure employee safety and one of $500 for failing to report a serious harm accident as soon as possible.  The entire s6 fine of $7000 was awarded to the injured man. In January a process worker amputated his right thumb as he fed timber into a woodcutter dropsaw.  A steel plate provided for the saw to prevent infeeding from the front was kept 10 metres away from the saw and not used.  When an OSH inspector visited the site he found the machine fitted with a wooden fixture preventing feeding from the front and described by the factory supervisor as designed to prevent flying dust.  The supervisor, the firm's marketing manager, accountant and one of the directors all told the inspector the machine had not been altered in any way, but subsequent inquiries revealed the wooden fixture was put in place after the accident. In penalising the firm DC Judge Moore said the risk was obvious and culpability was high.  The fines would have been much higher but for the financial circumstances of the firm, which is facing a winding up petition in the High Court.  No remorse for the accident was shown and no cooperation was evident but the Court did not want to put the firm out of business. (Galapine was previously fined $5000 in February after an accident in which a finger jointer machine crushed the tip of a worker's thumb) 
Industry:
Manufacturing
Sub-Industry:
Wood and Paper Product Manufacturing
Risk:
Machinery (trapped, crushed, cuts)
Harm:
Injury
Penalty Amount:
$10500.00
Reparation Amount:
$7000.00
Appeared in Safeguard issue 33

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