$15k payout after smelter blast

  • 19/08/2015
$15k payout after smelter blast

A foundry worker who was seriously burnt after an aluminium explosion at his workplace has been awarded $15,000 in reparations.

The employee had serious burns to his foot, and further injuries to his left hand, arm, chest and head after he went to investigate a hissing sound while working at McKechnie Aluminium Solutions in New Plymouth.

When he found the source of the sound, at a casting table where molten aluminium was being poured into moulds, there was an explosion which caused his burns.

He didn't get medical treatment after the explosion, but later visited his local GP who referred him to a plastic surgeon.

The man received skin graft surgery to his foot, and spent a week in hospital.

WorkSafe chief inspector Keith Stewart criticised the employer for not properly training its employees to safely handle the dangerous combinations of high temperatures, molten aluminium and water.

"If they had been, high-risk practices like leaning over a casting table of such high temperatures would not have occurred," he said.

McKechnie Aluminium Solutions Limited was fined $33,000 on Tuesday at New Plymouth District Court for the breaches and ordered to pay the employee $15,000 in reparations.