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Fish de-header injury cost companies $120k

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/06/2016

Two companies have been ordered to pay more than $120,000 after a worker suffered serious arm injuries when he got it caught in a fish de-header machine.

The AWF worker - who was contracted as a chiller hand at Sanford's Bluff fish processing factory in June 2015 - noticed a fish head caught in the manual de-header machine so he reached in to try and remove it.

In doing so, he accidentally turned on the machine while his arm was inside.

The machine blade came down and cut through his right forearm, slicing through muscles, an artery and tendons resulting four fractures and a metal plate needed to be inserted and was only removed in April this year.

A WorkSafe investigation found the blade was not properly guarded while AWF did not complete a site visit to identify high risk hazards before their employees began work.

Both companies pleaded guilty to not taking all practicable steps to ensure the safety of a worker.

AWF Limited were fined $37,750 while Sanford Limited was penalised $53,000 with both parties ordered to pay reparations of $15,063 each to the injured employee at the Invercargill District Court.

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