We have accepted enforceable undertakings from air conditioning and refrigeration company Airtech Limited, and vegetable packaging and marketing company NZ Hot House Limited, following an incident in July 2016 where workers were unnecessarily exposed to carbon monoxide.
Two Airtech workers were working to clean an evaporator unit in a chiller; they were using an LPG forklift operated by an NZ Hot House worker. After two hours working on the unit, an Airtech worker began to feel unwell and stopped working. The other Airtech worker and the forklift operator continued working, before they both fainted as a result of carbon monoxide exposure.
This is the second time two companies charged for the same incident under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 have each successfully been granted enforceable undertakings.
We found that Airtech had not identified or mitigated the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in the chiller from the use of an LPG-powered forklift. NZ Hot House had not developed and implemented a safe system of work for use of LPG forklifts, or developed and authorised an adequate contractor management system.
Worksafe has accepted an enforceable undertaking from fibreboard manufacturing company Dongwha New Zealand Limited, following an incident in December 2016 where a worker’s arm was drawn into a piece of machinery.
The worker was using a piece of machinery that lays out wood fibres to be turned into fibreboard. While cleaning the machine the worker lost his balance and put his left hand into a nip point. His arm was drawn into the machine up to his shoulder, leaving him with three fractures to his arm. The fractures required surgery and seven days hospitalisation, and the worker was off work for 14 weeks.
Following their investigation into the incident, WSNZ found that the existing machine guarding was inadequate, that Dongwha failed to monitor the effectiveness of the controls that were in place and had not developed and implemented a safe operating procedure for use of the machine.
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