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Health & Safety Hot Topic

Machine Guarding

Two companies in the last year received sentencing related to inadequate machinery guarding. Both sentences were related to Section 36 (1)(a), 48 (1) and 2 (c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2105:

In one case the worker had his hand drawn into the gap between a roller and a metal plate on a wood processing machine - two fingers were damaged and required surgical amputation.

In the other case, a worker was using a press style machine and attempted to free some stuck material - the worker reached up through an outlet chute which was not guarded, the press was inadvertently activated and four of the workers fingers were amputated.

Worksafe found that the companies “Being a PCBU (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking), failed to ensure so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers who worked for the PCBU, while the workers were at work in the business or undertaking.”

On the Worksafe NZ website Worksafe Deputy General Manager, Simon Humphries states ‘ineffective machinery guarding is still taking and changing lives. You are required under the law to ensure your machinery is safe to use and to eliminate or minimise any risks wherever reasonably practicable.”

A good place for companies to start is to read the Worksafe Safe Use of Machinery Best Practice Guidelines, this clear and concise document helps step through issues, solutions and legislative responsibilities. It even has a checklist that you can work through to audit your machinery in its current state.

If you need support in this area, call Lee Powell, our H&S Consultant, on 0275353625 or email lee@hrconnect.co.nz

Photo by Chester Alvarez on Unsplash


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