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Affco must pay injured worker more

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/12/2016

One of New Zealand's largest meat processors has been ordered to pay a bigger fine and increased reparations to an employee impaled on a meat hook in 2014.

Affco will now pay a $49,000 fine and $40,000 reparations to night cleaner Jason Matahiki after an appeal by workplace safety regulator WorkSafe was upheld.

The increased financial penalties came after a district court in April had ordered Affco to pay a $30,000 fine and $25,000 in reparations

Mr Matahiki was injured when a hook penetrated his head below his left ear and exited near his left eye, trapping him for more than 30 minutes.

His screams alerted other co-workers who came to his aid.

Two major muscles were punctured and his cheek bone was also fractured with Mr Matahiki continuing to have ongoing headaches and pain when moving his jaw.

Following the district court's April ruling, WorkSafe appealed the sentence on the grounds the financial penalty was "manifestly inadequate".

The High Court at Tauranga supported WorkSafe's appeal for a tougher penalty in part because Affco has had previous convictions for health and safety employment offences.

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