As reported by WorkSafe, a company in Tauranga has been sentenced with a $219,375 fine, following an incident in January 2017 that left one of their workers with a life changing injury.
The incident happened while the worker was decanting a corrosive cleaning product and a piece of tubing flicked him in the eye. The impact of the tubing and the corrosiveness of the cleaning product caused so much damage that the worker’s eye unfortunately had to be removed completely. Due to significant scarring there is little chance that the victim could ever be fitted with a prosthetic eye.
There are many practices that the company could have followed to prevent incidents like these from happening, with the main ones being:
- Identify the risks and put suitable controls in place.
- Set up a safer system of work in which workers would not have to handle corrosive cleaning products themselves, for example having such products hardwired and plumbed for use.
- Provide the workers with suitable personal protective equipment and monitor its use.
In cases where a substance does need to be moved from an original container to a workplace container, WorkSafe encourages to do so safely by:
- reading the safety data sheet (SDS),
- using the right personal protective equipment (PPE),
- preparing for emergencies such as spills, and
- making sure the container is suitable for the substance.