Recently WorkSafe pursued a prosecution of $900,000 against a manufacturer in Palmerston North. This was settled for $137,000 last week based on the company’s ability to pay. Nonetheless, this is a substantial penalty for any company to absorb.
The EMA’s Craig Garner says, “Given that WorkSafe’s first prosecution relates to machine guarding and that WorkSafe was seeking a fine of $900,000, it shows how seriously the regulator takes issues relating to non-adherence to the new law. This case sets the direction and scope for others to follow. The case clearly demonstrates the court’s appetite to penalise non-compliant businesses.” 2
The WorkSafe website states “The WorkSafe investigation found that the company had inadequate systems for identifying and managing risks; that their safe operating procedures were outdated; their policies and processes for training staff were lacking, and key safety features such as emergency stop buttons within reach of the operators were absent.” 1
“The company identified issues with the guarding on this machine six weeks before the incident, and yet at the time of the incident, nothing had been done to guard, or isolate the machine.” 1
WorkSafe are urging companies to take immediate action to manage their known risks: “Businesses must immediately take action to manage their known risks – identifying and listing them is not enough.”
“Companies concerned about the performance of their health and safety programme should take our free Workplace Health & Safety Assessment or call one of our team to find out how we can help” says Logan Wait.
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