Meat company fined after fingers lost

03:20, Jan 30 2013

A Wellington meat company has been fined $65,000 after a worker had his fingers amputated in a skinning machine.

In a sentencing decision on Monday, the company, Taylor Preston was also ordered to pay the worker $12,080 in compensation for the lost digits.

The accident occurred in January last year, while the worker was cleaning a skinning machine.

While the company had explicitly advised the worker not to clean it, it had not reduced the hazard by putting by placing a guard on the machine.

The Business Innovation and Employment Ministry - which brought the prosecution - said it was not enough to simply train staff, employers had to identify and reduce hazards as well.

"It was Taylor Preston's responsibility to ensure it had considered the hazard that could exist if the worker didn't abide by the rules and mitigate the hazard. Installing a guard would have stopped this worker losing two fingers," the ministry's Southern Health and Safety Manager Francois Barton said.

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