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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters



OSH Tracker

Department of Labour v Kiwi Dairy Products (DC, 13/12/01)

OSH Tracker

Defendant:
Kiwi Dairy Products
A machinery repairman who lost his arm when an auger began turning while he was working on it had been carrying out repairs, which required the auger to be stationary, at the same time as a cleaning and flushing process, which required it to be running. In the Auckland District Court on 13 December, Kiwi Dairy Products was fined $18,000 under s18(1)(a) for failing to ensure a subcontractor's employee was not harmed. The victim was awarded $15,000. The incident occurred at a plant in Maungaturoto. Milk powder is fed from a conveyor onto a vibrating screen table and into a vibrating hopper. The powder is conveyed by screw auger to an area where sugar is mixed into the auger in a blending process. A contractor's employee was to carry out welding repairs to the vibrating table. A flexible coupling between the spigot and hopper was removed to allow access. After welding was done a caustic solution was passed through to wash the machinery, then the welder helped re-fit the screen to the vibrating table. When he climbed under the table to adjust the vibration motor's speed, he noticed material in the throat of the spigot and reached into it twice. On the second occasion the auger activated, catching his sleeve and drawing his hand and arm into it. The arm below the elbow was subsequently amputated. Although the safe work permit issued for the welding work stated that electrical equipment had been isolated, it was found that the screw auger had not been isolated at any time. During a subsequent wash process the auger was activated. The company should have guarded the spigot opening, and had an effective isolation procedure in place. 
Industry:
Manufacturing
Sub-Industry:
Food, Beverage and Tobacco
Risk:
Machinery (trapped, crushed, cuts)
Harm:
Injury
Penalty Amount:
$18000.00
Reparation Amount:
$15000.00
Appeared in Safeguard issue 73

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