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Contractor pays $25,000 after employee injured

#1 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 05:20 PM

Contractor pays $25,000 after employee injured

Last updated 16:27 03/05/2012

A Tauranga aluminium joinery repair and maintenance contractor has been fined $10,000 and ordered to pay reparations of $15,000 after an employee lost sight in one eye in a workplace accident just two days after he'd started in the job.

The Tauranga District Court heard that in May last year Kerry Duggan, who traded as Mr Alifix, and his employee were working on scaffolding to remove window panes from the Tauranga Boys' College gym.

Duggan showed the worker how to use a screwdriver to remove rubber seals from the aluminium retaining beading around the windows.

The employee was then also given a wood chisel to use instead of the screwdriver.

But the chisel slipped while the employee was working on a rubber seal at eye level and hit him in the eye, resulting in permanent loss of sight.

During an investigation into the accident, the Department of Labour found a few simple measures could have significantly reduced the potential for injury.

The department charged Duggan with one offence under the Health and Safety in Employment Act, which covers employers taking all practicable steps to ensure the safety of their employees.

"It is unacceptable that Mr Duggan failed to adequately prepare his employee to carry out this work," said department central general manager Ona De Rooy.

"A safe procedure for removing seals from window frames should have been established, appropriate tools such as a specific pry tool or putty knife should have been used, and protective eyewear should have been worn. This would have prevented an accident such as this from happening," De Rooy said.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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