TODAY |

Juice maker to pay over $500,000 after worker killed by bottle filling machine

WorkSafe New Zealand is urging employers to ensure their machinery is safe after an employee died while operating a bottle filling machine in 2017.

The incident occurred at Homegrown Juice Co Limited where a worker was cleaning a bottle filling machine.

Their arm was pulled into rotating equipment.

It continued to rotate and the worker died at the scene. 

A WorkSafe investigation found that the machine had been imported from China and had not been assessed by an engineer.

The machine was not certified or compliant with New Zealand standards as it was not interlocked.

Had it been, it could have stopped the machine from starting while guarding was open. 

WorkSafe Chief Inspector Hayden Mander said interlocks are a vital protection for workers.

"They are the 'fail safe' for machinery which has entanglement potential and installing one in this case could have prevented a tragic death."

"Health and safety of workers, not production, should be a company’s first priority."

"Every business that uses machinery should consider the tragic outcome of Homegrown’s failings and commit to making sure their workers will be able to go home to their families and friends healthy and safe at the end of every working day."

Homegrown Juice Co Limited was sentenced and fined $367,500 in Hastings District Court today, and reparations of $141,635 were ordered.

Other charges that were made carry a maximum penalty of $1,500,000.

Source: istock.com