31 October 2018
Big fine after worker caught in press
E tū has welcomed the big fine handed down to Carter Holt Harvey LVL plant at Ruakaka in Northland after a member was
seriously injured in October 2016.
Steven Vincent had his chest and shoulder crushed, suffering multiple fractures, lacerations and lung injuries after his
body became trapped in a conveyor belt at the plant.
A WorkSafe investigation found the LVL press machine wasn’t guarded, in breach of the company’s health and safety
In the District Court in Whangarei today, CHH LVL Ruakaka was ordered to pay Mr Vincent $55,000 in reparations, and
fined $371,000 plus costs.
E tū organiser, Annie Tothill says the judge said he had taken into account the fact that there were more than 26
previous cases involving Carter Holt Harvey, some involving a lack of guarding, which in this case added another $60,000
to the fine.
“This was essential guarding,” says Annie.
“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.”
Annie says the fine sends a message that workplaces must be safe and that a failure to meet basic safety requirements is
“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,” says Annie.
“He is lucky to be alive.”