NZ packaging company to pay compensation for finger injuries

A New Zealand packaging company has been ordered to pay a woman NZ $25,000 ($22,000) over a workplace accident in which she lost the tip of one finger and had to have another surgically repaired. reports that Baylor Ltd, of Auckland will pay a fine of NZ $20,000 and reparations of NZ $5000.

The woman was injured while using a machine that heat-sealed sachets of dishwashing granules. Her right-hand index and middle fingers became trapped between the jaws of the machine as she adjusted the material to be sealed.

Her index finger was severed at the nail and could not be reattached, while her middle finger was able to be repaired.

The company, which had pleaded guilty, was sentenced in the Auckland District Court.

According to The Health and Safety group's chief inspector of investigations, Keith Stewart, "This incident was preventable – the company should have had a guard around the heat-sealing jaws and the guard should have had an interlock device on it which would have ensured it could not operate while the guard was open.

"They've now installed the correct equipment but it comes too late for a worker who should have been able to expect she'd be able to go home at the end of her shift, not to the hospital in an ambulance.”