The District Court has ordered an employer to pay over $26,000 after an employee was injured by machinery.

The employee operated a piece of machinery that was equipped with a safety mechanism operated by a key that could be disabled if the machine became jammed.

The employee disabled the machine’s safety mechanism and did not re-engage the safety mechanism before continuing work.

The employee’s fingers were caught in the machine.

Worksafe found that the machine could easily be reached into from the sides and lacked appropriate guards, that the employer had failed to undertake an adequate risk assessment of the machine, and the employer put its employees at risk by failing to implement a safe operational process for the machine.

The Court accepted that there were significant health and safety failings, but noted that the employer spent $60,000 upgrading systems and processes at the worksite. Additionally, the employer financially supported the employee while he was unable to work.

The Court ordered the employer to pay the employee $24,000 in reparations and $2,491.95 in costs. However, the Court declined to impose a fine as the company was in an uncertain financial position and the effects of Covid would likely pose further financial difficulties.

The lack of guards on dangerous machinery is a common cause of health and safety injuries. Failure to eliminate or mitigate this risk as far as reasonably practicable may result in serious injuries, conviction and financial penalties.

If there are concerns about the health and safety of your workplace, it is wise to speak with a professional 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
Health and Safety Lawyer