WorkSafe has entered into an enforceable undertaking with a window manufacturer after one of its employees got his leg caught in a rotating shaft which resulted in a fractured ankle and burns to his hip.

The employer had identified the machine and the rotating shaft as a risk but had provided insufficient guarding on the machine and insufficient training to its employees on safely operating the machine.

The undertakings entered into include further health and safety training of employees, providing an NZQA Unit Standard on Workplace Safety for employees to undertake, providing articles on health and safety in the Window Association newsletter and attending three industry conferences to talk about the incident and the lessons learned.  The company is also to provide training to other franchise managers and community health and safety resources.  All of this is in addition to reparation paid to the victim.  The company had no previous convictions but its failure to adequately minimise the risk with guards on the machine and training lead to the serious injury to its employee.

Alan Knowsley
Health & Safety Lawyer