Proper machine guarding could have saved the life of a mill worker in Kawerau, according to the Department of Labour.
Robert Coromandel died from injuries to his chest after being dragged into a pulp machine at Carter Holt Harvey's pulp and paper mill last year.
At the Whakatane District Court on Tuesday, the company was fined $47,500 over the death.
The department's Waikato/Eastern regional manager says the incident could have been prevented had the machine been properly guarded.
Ona De Rooy says machine guarding standards have been in place for more than a century, but people still ignore it or forget about them.
The department says a three-year project aimed at improving that aspect of workplace health and safety has begun.