NZ man won’t get day in court over South Pacific Meat factory accident

A New Zealand worker at South Pacific Meats who had his arm partly amputated has expressed disappointment after charges were dropped against his employer.

Fairfax Media reports that Kelly Shields, of Invercargill, was due to have his case heard on February 20, but this was dropped by the Department of Labour due to “evidential inconsistencies” displayed by Shields.

SPM pleaded not guilty in August last year to charges related to failing to ensure protection from hazards.

He blamed fatigue due to overwork on the accident, and claimed that he’d been working the bandsaw for three days straight due to a shortage of staff.

"I am going to suffer for the rest of my life,” he told Fairfax.

“I never asked for this to happen to me. I'm the victim."

Kevin Hamilton, manager at SPM, said that the Department of Labour informed him last week that the charges were to be dropped, and that Shields had received a written warning before the accident regarding the inappropriate use of the bandsaw.