Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
14 June 2017
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$367,000.50

Safety lessons learned:
  • To have engaged a competent person to undertake a systematic risk assessment and to determine the appropriate controls with reference to the ASNZ 4024 or equivalent standards in respect of the hy-filling machine;
  • Provide safe plant for workers by installing appropriate guarding and interlocks on the hy-filler;
  • Developed, implemented and communicated and monitored a safe system of work which included but was not limited to the installation and use of effective lockout system, a safe operating procedure covering all aspects of the machine’s operation, routine and non-routine; and a system to ensure that appropriate guarding was in place and remained in place during cleaning and other operations rather nothing there was no guarding. Having undertaken the above steps, then provide training and instruction to workers in respect of all aspects of the hy-filler and its safe use while cleaning. 

Defendant name:
The Homegrown Juice Co Limited
 
Industry:
Manufacturing
 
Date of offence:
14 June 2017
 
Facts in brief:
On 14 June 2017, the victim died as a result of positional asphyxia, caused by being drawn into a bottle filling machine (a GN24) when her clothing caught on the hooks of the moving machine she was cleaning, as she was attempting to remove the spacers through the machine’s front access doors.

There were no safe operating procedures for the machine. The workers were told not to enter the machine when it was running and to use the jog mode to change the spacers from behind the side door. The Defendant failed to undertake a systematic risk assessment, to install guarding, have an effective lock out system, have a safe operating procedure for the machine, and to train and instruct workers.

The defendant, based on WorkSafe advice, had intended to add interlocking at a later stage, but this did not occur. A sign specifying that the machine was not to be opened while operating had fallen off by the time of the incident.

The defendant took remedial steps after the incident including adding interlocking, emergency stop switches and reset buttons, implementing a new operating procedure requiring cessation of operation when opening the machine doors, and having the machine certified by NZ engineers.
 
Offence section:
Sections 48(1) and 2(c), and 36(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
 
Date charged:

Court:
Hastings - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$367,000.50
 
Maximum fine available:
$1.5 million
 
Reparation:
$90,000 for emotional harm
$51,635.33 for consequential loss