Juken NZ fined over serious injury

Last updated 17:31 25/07/2013

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A Carterton wood processing plant has been fined $33,000 and ordered to pay $5000 reparation after one of its workers suffered severe burns when he got caught in a conveyer belt.

Juken New Zealand was sentenced in Masterton District Court this morning for failing to take all practicable steps to protect its employee while at work in the incident on September 5 last year.

The man was working on a jammed wood drier when his clothes got caught in a chain on the conveyer.

He tried to call to workmates, but they did not hear him, and he struggled to reach two buttons to stop the conveyer and was cut free, not before getting severe burns from the heat of the chain.

He needed skin grafts to treat the burns.

The incident was disappointing, said Keith Stewart, chief inspector investigations for the Health and Safety Group at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

"The company did not guard the dangerous parts of this drier nor make provision for safe access to the conveyor interlock system, and as a result a worker has been seriously injured," he said. 

"We have been running a machine guarding campaign for some time now, and it is very disappointing to see any company, but particularly a large employer like Juken New Zealand, not meeting its obligations to its workers and the law."

Juken makes wood products such as veneer panels, mainly for the Japanese market.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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