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Hellers fined almost $200k after worker lost four fingers in meat processing machine

Hellers has been fined $193,500 after a worker lost four fingers in a meat processing machine last year.

Meat (file photo) Source: istock.com

The meat manufacturer appeared in the Christchurch District Court today following the March 2019 incident.

It has also been ordered to pay $60,000 in reparation to the victim.

The worker's fingers got caught while clearing meat from between a rotating paddle and the inside wall of a machine.

WorkSafe says the machine hadn’t been stopped correctly and it restarted as part of its cycle which immediately cut the man’s four fingers off.

The worker’s fingers were unable to be reattached and the machine has since been removed from production.

WorkSafe’s chief inspector Steve Kelly said a WorkSafe investigation found the method of operating the machine had been unsafely adapted.

“The company’s standard operating procedure and risk assessment for the machine were neither monitored or reviewed, allowing this adapted method of cleaning the machine to go unchallenged and uncontrolled.

“Hellers’ failures to ensure employees were carrying out work safely put workers at very serious risk, and in this instance, led to a worker suffering from life changing injuries.”