Firm pays out $40,000 for worker injury

There are a variety of types of business insurance out there that keep firms protected when something unexpected happens. One of the most essential is statutory liability insurance which covers the - typically large - costs a business incurs if it violates a particular law passed by parliament. 

Recently, one business based in Wellington found that out the hard way, when it was fined and forced to pay reparations after a worker lost four fingers to a cutting machine. European Profile Company Limited, trading as Thermalframe, was forced to pay a $24,375 fine by the Hutt Valley District Court for breaching the Health and Safety in Employment Act. The company was not found to have taken all practicable steps to keep the worker safe. 

In addition to the hefty fine, the firm was also made to pay an extra $17,500 to the worker. Overall, that's a payout of $41,875, a significant amount for any business - and potentially disastrous without insurance in place. 

 

Accident a product of poor training practices

The incident took place back in May 14 of last year, when a man employed as a fabricator and installer was using a thicknesser on a piece of wood. The wood jammed, and when the worker attempted to pull it out by putting one hand on the machine, his hand slipped, leading to the injury. 

According to WorkSafe New Zealand, the injury was easily avoidable had European Profile Company Limited taken proper precautions. Most importantly, said WorkSafe Chief Inspector Keith Stewart, their operators had not been adequately trained.

"There was no documentation of their training procedures or any records to confirm who was trained, what the training was, and when it occurred," said Mr Stewart.

He went on to note that employees should have been given copies of the company's hazard identification procedures, as well as their health and safety manual. This would have ensured they were knowledgeable enough to remain safe.

It is in particular situations such as these where statutory liability insurance can come in handy. One of the most common types of claims for this cover is when insufficient training of employees leads to accidents. 

 

Manufacturing a perilous sector

The manufacturing sector is one of the most dangerous in New Zealand. WorkSafe statistics show that over the years from 2010 to 2015, it's experienced the most serious harm notifications out of any industry at 5,162. This includes 399 within this year alone. 

Of course, manufacturing isn't the only sector where businesses can suffer financially if they breach an act or fail to properly train an employee. Accidents don't discriminate by industry, which is why it's important to have the right business insurance taken out for your firm.


Allan Henderson

About the Author

Name: Allan Henderson        

I’m the Leader - Business Development & Sales for Rothbury’s Wellington branch. I have over 20 years experience in the insurance industry and get a kick out of finding insurance solutions for my clients.

I enjoy leading and…
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I’m the Leader - Business Development & Sales for Rothbury’s Wellington branch. I have over 20 years experience in the insurance industry and get a kick out of finding insurance solutions for my clients.

I enjoy leading and developing people (including my 3 children although they may not appreciate my leadership skills at times – or ever for that matter) and am part of a really experienced team who have a lot of fun here in Wellington.

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Disclaimer: The articles published on this blog are designed to provide general information and do not take into account any individual’s particular circumstances. We recommend that you obtain professional advice on your requirements before making any decision about a financial product.
 


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