28 Nov 2012

Supermarket operator fined after worker loses thumb

10:43 pm on 28 November 2012

The operator of a North Shore supermarket has been fined $45,000 following an accident which cost a staff member her thumb.

In February this year the worker was deboning a ham on an automated meat slicer when her thumb made contact with the blade, resulting in the thumb having to be amputated.

General Distributors Ltd, which runs the Birkenhead Countdown supermarket, has been fined under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment says the incident could have been avoided by using a guard on the slicer.

John Howard says many people are seriously injured or killed because of such incidents, despite it being well-known that poorly-guarded equipment cause injuries.