An employee injured his fingers while using a machine at work. The machine jammed and the employee tried to free it when his hand slipped.

The Court found the employer liable under the Health and Safety legislation for failing to take all practicable steps to keep the employee safe. Worksafe’s Chief Inspector reported that there were a number of practicable steps that the employer could have taken to safeguard the employee. The Chief Inspector found that fitted guards should have been installed on the machine to prevent the operator inserting their hand if it jammed.

Several other factors also contributed to the accident. The employer should also have ensured that its employees were adequately trained on how to safely use the machine.

In addition to the inadequate training provided there was no documentation of the employer’s training procedures or any records of the training undertaken. The employer had also failed to give its employees copies of the company’s Health and Safety manual, and hazard identification and control procedures.

All employers must keep their employees (and others) safe while at work. In addition you must document what you do so that you can prove to Worksafe that you did provide training on how to work equipment safely and on your policies and procedures.

The Court sentenced and fined the employer $24,375, and ordered the employer to pay an additional $17,500 in reparation to the employee.