An employer was sentenced by the District Court following the tragic death of one of its employee’s when he was crushed by a machine at work.

The machine was a copy of another machine in the workplace, but was modified to fit into a different location at work.  The modifications created a serious risk of crushing and this was not appreciated by the employer or its health and safety consultant.  In addition the machine did not have appropriate guards to stop employees getting to close to the machine, nor a switch to shut the machine off in emergencies.

The consultant employed by the company also was not an expert in guarding of machinery.  

The company was found guilty of failing to ensure the health and safety of its employees and was fined $350,000.  It was also ordered to pay reparations to the employee’s family of $130,000.

If a new piece of equipment is being installed in the business an assessment must be carried out to identify any risks related to the machinery and to ensure that no hazard has been introduced.


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Alan Knowsley

Health & Safety Lawyer