7 Mar 2012

Fonterra to pay $60,000 after worker loses part of finger

4:21 pm on 7 March 2012

A court has ordered dairy cooperative Fonterra to pay more than $60,000 in fines and compensation after an employee lost part of a finger in a cheese factory machine.

In April 2011, the worker reached into a cheese packaging machine after it became jammed at Fonterra's factory in Eltham in South Taranaki.

The worker was unaware that the machine would re-start and the clamps shut on one of her fingers, severing the tip.

The Department of Labour says the unguarded sides of the factory's two wrapping machines had been identified as dangerous twice in previous years and Fonterra knew this, but did nothing.

The cost of making the two machines safe is $1000.

The Harawera District Court on Wednesday fined Fonterra $50,000 and ordered that it pay about $12,000 compensation to the worker.