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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters



OSH Tracker

Department of Labour v Tasman Pulp & Paper Company (DC, 31/01/96)

OSH Tracker

Defendant:
Tasman Pulp and Paper Company
In the Auckland District Court on 31 January, Judge O'Donovan fined Tasman Pulp and Paper Company $15,000 on each of three separate charges of failing to ensure employee safety (s6); failing to adequately train (s13); and failing to provide adequate supervision (s13). The firm pleaded guilty on all charges. Prosecution was brought after a July 1995 accident when an operator lost two toes and suffered other severe foot injuries when he attempted to clear a log jam on a spike roll conveyor. Using the same method he had previously used, he stopped the machine at the control panel and jammed a piece of wood in the lock-out switch. After clearing the jammed logs, he was about to climb out of the conveyor when the spike roll case activated to drag his boot in between the spike roll and a flat plate. OSH investigation showed the injuied man had only been operating the machine for four to six weeks. He had never been told of the correct isolation procedures shown in the company manual and assumed the manner in which he carried out the task of clearing jams was the correct one. This method had been identified as a bad work practice by the firm's site safety coordinator in 1993 but had been allowed to continue. On each charge, Judge O'Donovan found, the company had been shown to "seriously at fault." The employee was "trained in a practice that the defendant knew to be unacceptable and ... was encouraged by the company to believe that the practice was correct." As a result a worker suffered serious injury likely to have a serious effect on his enjoyment of life. The injured man was awarded a total of $30,000 from the fines. 
Industry:
Manufacturing
Sub-Industry:
Wood and Paper Product Manufacturing
Risk:
Machinery (trapped, crushed, cuts)
Harm:
Injury
Penalty Amount:
$45000.00
Reparation Amount:
$30000.00
Appeared in Safeguard issue 36

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