12 Nov 2014

Store fined for finger amputation

3:04 pm on 12 November 2014

A hardware store has been ordered to pay out almost $60,000 after a teenage employee partially amputated two of his fingers

Grove Hardware Limited, trading as Mitre 10 Mega Glenfield, was ordered to pay him $20,000 on top of a fine of almost $40,000.

The 16-year-old employee spent nine days in hospital after almost sawing off two fingers, and severing a nerve on another.

WorkSafe New Zealand chief inspector Keith Stewart said the saw's guards were installed incorrectly, and kept jamming.

Mr Stewart said employees removed one guard which exposed the blade.

"This young man was asked by a customer to cut some lengths of wood and, as he cut them he reached into grab the wood and his hand came into contact with the blade of the saw that he was using," he said.

"He then suffered partial amputation of his left, middle and index fingers."

There should have been a system to ensure the saw was guarded properly, and that those using it were trained, Mr Stewart said.