Fonterra fined after machine cuts worker’s finger off

A New Zealand Fonterra factory which chose not to spend $500 on improving the safety of a machine has been forced to fork out over $60 000 after it amputated part of a worker’s finger.

The company was fined $50 000 and also had to pay $12 500 to the woman, who got her arm caught in the machine’s clear wrapping clamps at the Eltham factory.

The company had been warned that the machine required better guarding twice previously, according to stuff.co.nz.

"However Fonterra did nothing about it and said that, when the accident happened, it was working on other hazards identified by the review," Labour Department central region general manager Ona de Rooy said.

"This machine did not meet either Fonterra’s own machine guarding standards or the Department of Labour machine guarding guidelines.

"As a result, the worker required surgery and further amputation of the finger from a hazard that was not expensive to fix."

Fonterra was convicted in the Hawera District Court on one charge under Section 6 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, which states every employer shall take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees while at work.

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