8 Mar 2012

Fonterra fined over employee injury

6:05 am on 8 March 2012

The Labour Department has criticised Fonterra for the lack of action that led to an injury at one of its factories.

Hawera District Court fined the dairy company $50,000 and ordered it to pay $12,500 reparation to an employee who had part of a finger amputated by a cheese packaging machine at its Eltham processing plant in Taranaki last year.

Labour Department central region manager Ona de Rooy says Fonterra had plenty of opportunity to prevent the accident.

It had been warned in hazard reviews in the previous two years about the danger posed by the unguarded sides of the two wrapping machines at the plant.

It would have cost an estimated $500 per wrapping machine to make them safe.

Fonterra did not contest the charge laid by the department and says it regrets the accident and accepts the fines. It has made changes to health and safety at the site.