WorkSafe New Zealand v Prepared Produce Limited [2016] NZDC 3446

Published 11 July 2016

Fines — reparation — amputation — failure to ensure safety — failure to notify — Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, ss 6, 25(3), 50(1)(a). The employer was charged with failing to take all practical steps to ensure the safety of employees while at work, and failing to notify the regulator (WorkSafe) of occurrences of serious harm. The employer pleaded guilty to all charges, and was ordered to make reparation of $57,000 to three victims, and fined $196,406.25. The three victims all suffered serious injuries to their fingers, including amputations of varying degrees. Reparation was ordered to reflect physical and emotional harm, as well as potential loss of income due to ongoing difficulties performing tasks. The fines awarded reflected the employer’s failure to take steps such as installing a sufficient guard on the belt slicer, ensuring employees were adequately trained, and providing appropriate health and safety information such as the appropriate actions to be taken in the event of jamming.