The District Court has ordered an employer to pay over $274,000 after a health and safety incident resulting in permanent injury to an employee.

The employee had been working for the employer for under two months. He was operating a machine that became jammed.

The employee went around the side of the machine to clear the jam, but his hand became caught. The employee’s hand was crushed by the machine, resulting in an amputation of part of the hand.

Worksafe noted that although the front of the machine was guarded, the side, where jams were cleared from, was not.

It emphasised that employers are constantly failing to ensure the health and safety of employees. Employers need to ensure that they install guards on all dangerous parts of machinery.

The Court ordered the employer to pay the employee $43,292 in reparation in addition to a fine of $231,000.

It is important that employers take their health and safety obligations seriously, and implement, monitor, and enforce effective safety plans for their employees. Failure to do so may result in serious injuries or death, followed by expensive legal consequences.

Additionally, inexperienced employees should be properly trained and supervised when operating potentially dangerous machinery.

If there are concerns around health and safety features of machinery, or the implementation of a safety plan in your workplace, it is wise to speak with a professional experienced in the area.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-priced Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.


Alan Knowsley