The District Court has ordered an employer to pay $60,000 following breaching its health and safety obligations resulting in permanent injury to an employee.

The employee started their first day of work at the company. The employer showed the employee how to use a piece of hazardous machinery.

After watching the employee correctly use the machinery for a while, the employer left the employee to continue working on his own.

A short while later, the employee’s arm became caught in the machine and it caused significant permanent injuries to his hand.

The employer agreed that they breached their health and safety obligations to the employee. It was noted that the employer did not:

  • install adequate guarding on the machine;
  • implement a health and safety system provided by an external health and safety company; and
  • did not did not undertake a risk assessment and identify the risks to employees.

The Court ordered the employer to pay a fine of $60,000 and acknowledged that the employer had already voluntarily paid reparations to the employee of over $30,000.

Where work involves the use of hazardous machinery, employers must take a firm stance on health and safety. Failing to guard, assess risks, supervise inexperienced employees, and implement systems provided are all basic failings that have resulted in permanent injury to an employee and significant cost to the employer.

If there are concerns about the health and safety of policies of a 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.