An employer has entered into an enforceable undertaking with WorkSafe following an accident in which one of its employee’s arms was broken.  The employee had been cleaning a machine, when he lost his balance and his arm was drawn into the machine up to the shoulder.  The employee was off work for 14 weeks recovering from reconstructive surgery.

Under the enforceable undertaking the employer has agreed to fund a St John Youth Training Programme for five years, pay for 10 disabled people to join the Riding for the Disabled Rehabilitation Programme and fund a high school’s health and safety programme.

In addition the employer must also set up and run an industry machinery safety event for the next five years.  Also extra training on safety will be given to staff and compensation will be paid to the injured worker.  The total value of the donations to be made equal $210,000.

WorkSafe accepted the undertaking because of the company’s regret and the support for the undertaking from the injured worker himself who did not want the company prosecuted.

An investigation following the accident found that the guards on the machine were inadequate and that the employer failed to monitor the safety controls on the machine effectively and did not have a safe operating procedure for use of the machine.

Alan Knowsley

Health & Safety Lawyer