Forestry company fined $180,000 after worker injured by bark stripping machine

By Rob Stock
New Zealand Stuff
May 23, 2023
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

A Chinese forestry company has been fined $180,000 after a worker’s arm got caught in a log debarking machine. The incident broke the man’s wrist and pulled the victim’s skin back, leaving him needing surgery to have plates put in to fix his broken arm and a dislocated wrist, workplace safety regulator Worksafe Mahi Haumaru Aotearoa said. CFGC Forest Managers (NZ), which is owned by China Forestry Group New Zealand Company, was sentenced in court on May 19. As well as being fined, it was ordered to pay the injured worker reparations of $10,000. Worksafe investigated after the 2021 injury at Northport near Whangārei, and concluded the bark-stripping machine did not have the appropriate safeguards for New Zealand use. The worker was troubleshooting the machine when its rollers closed and trapped his wrist, Worksafe said. A WorkSafe investigation found “significant safety modifications” were made to the debarker before it was put into use.

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