Huge fine for Carter Holt Harvey after worker caught in press machine, seriously injured

Carter Holt Harvey has been fined $371,000 – plus costs and reparations – after a worker was seriously injured by a press machine.

Image: Carter Holt Harvey’s LVL plant at Ruakaka, where the incident happened in October 2016. Photo / File

Steven Vincent’s chest and shoulder were crushed, and he suffered multiple fractures, cuts and lung injuries after he became trapped in a conveyor belt in October 2016.

The company was ordered to pay $55,000 in reparations to Vincent, in addition to the fine and costs.

A WorkSafe investigation found the Carter Holt Harvey plant had breached their health and safety regulations as the press was not guarded.

E tū union organiser Annie Tothill said the judge took into account a number of previous cases against Carter Holt Harvey, some of which involved a lack of guarding.

“Steve was putting his body at risk. His whole body went into the press. Not only was there inadequate guarding: there was no guarding at all.”

“Steve has suffered months of agony and recovery from his injuries – he’s only recently had more surgery for the lung damage caused by this terrible accident and may require more,” Tothill said.

“He is lucky to be alive.”

Vincent initially spent a month in hospital recovering from his injuries but had to return to undergo surgery in August last year.

Source: NZ Herald