‘Lo/To’ Safety Cited in NZ Laundry Incident

Posted January 23, 2015 at 11:05 am

A commercial launderer in New Zealand recently was fined $38,250 and ordered to pay $7,500 in reparations after an employee injured his hand while working on an unguarded folder machine last spring.

The employee, a production manager, was attempting to clear a piece of tape that was attached to a folding machine’s rollers. The machine’s guard had been removed and a “key interlock,” which prevents the folder’s use without the guard in place, had been overridden.

WorkSafe NZ, New Zealand’s workplace health and safety regulator, cited the launderer for failing to take all practical steps to ensure the safety of an employee, under sections 6 and 50 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act. WorkSafe’s Chief Investigator Keith Stewart said the company shouldn’t have allowed the folder to operate without the guard in place. “This machine was designed and built with appropriate safety measures that could have prevented this incident. Disabling those safety measures put staff needlessly at risk—it was just asking for trouble.”

For more information on lockout/tagout safety/compliance, consider these TRSA resources:

Control of Hazardous Energy Lockout/Tagout (English)

Control of Hazardous Energy Lockout/Tagout (Spanish)

Lockout/Tagout Policies and Procedures Manual