Snowplanet to pay $51,500 over injury

Last updated 15:57 20/03/2014

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An Auckland indoor ski park has been ordered to pay more than $50,000 after a worker was injured last year.

Snowplanet worker Christopher Hill's arm was trapped and broken while he was clearing snow from under a conveyor belt in April.

His arm was trapped in a "running nip" created by a roller and what is called the "Magic Carpet" conveyor which moves skiers up a snow-covered slope.

Hill had climbed under the upper end of the conveyor to clear snow. His glove and his jacket were caught and his arm was dragged inside.

He had to be cut free and underwent surgery.

Snowplanet pleaded guilty in the North Shore District Court to one charge under the Health and Safety in Employment Act for failing to ensure their worker's safety

The company was fined $42,000 and ordered to pay reparations of $9500.

WorkSafe New Zealand chief investigator Keith Stewart said Snowplanet should have done more to prevent access to the dangerous parts of the conveyor.

"There was also nothing to prevent a person lifting the hatch and climbing down under the conveyor exposing themselves to the dangerous parts while the conveyor was running," he said, adding the company should have had a proper procedure in place.

The company has now fitted padlocks to the access panels and fixed guards under the conveyor, and introduced proper lock-out procedure for cleaning the conveyor.

Stewart hoped the simple measures would prevent another similar incident.

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- Fairfax Media

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