19 Jul 2013

Silver Fern Farms prosecuted over worker injury

6:26 am on 19 July 2013

Silver Fern Farms has been prosecuted after a worker was injured at its Waitoa plant in Waikato last October.

The meat processing company was fined $50,000 in Morrinsville District Court and ordered to pay $20,000 in reparation to the worker, after a serious injury to two of his fingers in a workplace accident.

Silver Fern Farms was charged under the Health and Safety in Employment Act for failing to take practicable steps to ensure the employee was not exposed to the risk of harm from a machine he was operating.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, which brought the charge, says the worker was using a hock cutter which developed a fault and when it was moved, it activated, partially amputating two of his fingers.

Health and safety chief Inspector Keith Stewart said the man was seriously injured as a result of some basic failings by the company.

He says the worker had the right to arrive at work knowing everything had been done to protect him.

The ministry says the fine and reparation should serve as a warning to all employers that they must look after the safety of employees at work.