60k fine after worker loses thumb

  • 01/12/2015
60k fine after worker loses thumb

A Canterbury boss has been ordered to pay more than $60,000 after one of his workers lost a thumb in a chainsaw accident.

One of Murray Crosland's workers had his thumb amputated after getting his arm stuck in a machine for cutting firewood.

As he was putting wood into the machine, the worker's arm became trapped before the machine's chainsaw took off his thumb and the top of his index finger.

Crosland was handed a $42,525 fine and ordered to pay $20,000 to the injured employee in a ruling from the Christchurch District Court today.

He earlier pleaded guilty to the charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

Worksafe said its investigation found the machine's guards were left open and parts were missing.

WorkSafe's Marcus Nalter said the accident was clearly avoidable.

"The state of the Binderberger machine was an obvious hazard and this should have been well known as in 2009 an employee had their finger crushed by a log because a guard had been removed," he said.