$20,000 fine after worker seriously burnt
Wednesday 15 August 2001
The Occupational Safety and Health Service (OSH) has welcomed the sentencing of a Kawerau company after a man was seriously burnt in a workplace accident.
Norske Skog Tasman Ltd were sentenced to pay $20,000 today in the Whakatane District Court. $15,000 of the fine went to the victim.
Norske Skog Tasman Ltd contracted Kawerau Engineering Ltd to carry out maintenance at its mechanical pulp mill in Kawerau last year. During this activity an employee of Kawerau Engineering suffered severe burns to 30 per cent of his body when he was struck by an estimated 30 litres of hot pulp.
This is the sixth case against Norske Skog formerly known as Tasman Pulp and Paper Ltd since the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 came into effect.
"In this case the judge did not accept the argument that there was less of a duty by Norske Skog to an employee of a contractor than to their own employees," said Murray Thompson, OSH Service Manager, Taupo-Eastern Bay of Plenty region.
"This prosecution also emphasises the need to ensure proper isolation procedures and that personal protection equipment requirements are in place and adhered to."
Mr Thompson said companies needed to view health and safety not simply as a cost, but rather as an investment in the future health and profitability of their company.
"Health and safety should be an integral part of any business.
"Many companies have excellent health and safety procedures in place however it is crucial that their employees are aware of them and actually use them."