WorkSafe New Zealand v ITW New Zealand [2017] NZDC 27830

Published 26 February 2020

Sentencing — finger amputation — failing to ensure health and safety of workers — machine press — name suppression — Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, ss 36, 48 & 152(1) — Department of Labour v Hanham & Philp Contractors Ltd (2008) 6 NZELC 79 (HC) — WorkSafe New Zealand v New Zealand Timber [2015] NZDC 19471 — WorkSafe New Zealand v Firewood Direct (Motueka) Ltd [2015] NZDC 23514 — WorkSafe New Zealand v New Zealand Woodtex Ltd [2015] NZDC 16063 — WorkSafe New Zealand v Prepared Produce Ltd [2016] NZDC 3446 — WorkSafe New Zealand v Rangiora Carpets Ltd [2017] NZDC 26648 — Hanham & Philp re Cookie Time Appeal, 18 December 2008, HC Christchurch CRI-2008-409-000002 — Arbor Reman Ltd v Department of Labour [2010] 8 NZELR 57 — WorkSafe New Zealand v Avon Industries Limited [2015] NZDC 6645 — WorkSafe New Zealand v Budget Plastics (New Zealand) Limited [2017] NZDC 17395. The defendant company appeared for sentence on a charge of failing to ensure the health and safety of it workers. The victim was working an inadequately guarded press machine and was injured to the point that three fingers were entirely amputated as well as the tip of another. The decision was made following a change to health and safety legislation that increased the fines for breaches of the Act by six-fold. The first step in the sentencing process was to assess reparation, then to fix a fine and finally to make an assessment overall proportionality and imposition of the reparation and the fine. The Judge referred to case law and settled on reparations of $32,500. The defendant also agreed to pay the victim an ACC top up of $2,219.70. A starting point of $450,000 was adopted for the fine, reflecting moderately serious offending. A 30 per cent discount was given for prior good record, co-operation, remedial steps taken, remorse and the defendant's insurance policy. The was reduced a further 25 per cent for early plea to a final fine of $236,000.25. The Judge also ordered the defendant to pay costs of $3531.40. The victim was granted final name suppression. Judgment Date: 5 December 2017.