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Hefty fine for juice company after employee's grisly machinery death

Newshub logoNewshub 6 days ago Mark Quinlivan
a plastic container of food: The juice company was sentenced on Wednesday. © Getty The juice company was sentenced on Wednesday.

WorkSafe says all employers should make sure machinery is safe and not a risk to their staff members.

Homegrown Juice Co Ltd was sentenced in the Hastings District Court on Wednesday after a worker was killed in a machinery incident in 2017.

The company was ordered to pay a $367,500 fine.

The worker was cleaning a bottle filling machine when her arm was drawn into the rotating equipment.

A statement from WorkSafe said the machinery continued to rotate, and she died at the scene.

WorkSafe's investigation found the machine had been imported from China, and had not been assessed by a New Zealand engineer.

The investigation also found the machine was not certified or compliant with New Zealand standards.

WorkSafe chief inspector Hayden Mander said interlocks are a vital protection for workers. The investigation found the machine was not interlocked.

"If a risk is identified in a business' operations, failing to properly manage that risk is simply unacceptable."

He said it was unlawful, and can expose workers to injury or death.

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

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