WorkSafe accepts enforceable undertaking from Woods Glass

We have accepted an enforceable undertaking from glass supply and glazing company Woods Glass (New Zealand) Limited, following an incident in January 2017 when a worker's leg was crushed in machinery.

The worker was injured when the glass cutting machine he was working with jammed. 

The worker climbed onto the machine to see what had happened and as the jam was cleared the machine inadvertently began operating again, crushing the worker's leg.

He suffered a compound dislocation of his left ankle that required two weeks hospitalisation and more than two months off work.

Following our investigation into the incident, we found that Woods Glass had failed its employee under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, including a lack of safe procedures and guarding involving the piece of machinery.

WorkSafe Deputy General Manager, Investigations and Specialist Services, Simon Humphries said: “Woods Glass has recognised the importance of educating industry partners in the safe operation of machinery. They have demonstrated consideration and leadership and have consulted extensively with their employees in the development of this undertaking.”

“We know language and cultural differences can sometimes be a barrier to effective health and safety management. The activities outlined in this undertaking focus on language, culture and diversity in health and safety as well.”

The injured worker felt that the enforceable undertaking was a constructive approach to what had occurred.

Under the enforceable undertaking, Woods Glass committed to initiatives including:

  • Providing amends in the form of payment to the victim and support to the victim.
  • Developing a suite of initiatives to benefit the workplace and workers.
  • Hosting workshops for Lisec cutting machine operators within the glass industry.
  • Presenting and sponsoring a session at the Windows Association of New Zealand and Glass Association New Zealand annual conferences.
  • Providing specialised training courses in conjunction with the Glass & Glazing Institute NZ.
  • Producing community resources on health, safety, wellbeing, inclusion, and diversity.
  • Offering a scholarship for a trade qualification at the Mount Albert Unitech Institute of Technology.
  • Sponsoring Community Alcohol & Other Drug Services in the South Auckland community for language interpretation services.

Pat Harrison, Managing Director of Woods Glass said: “Woods Glass expresses deep regret and remorse to our fellow employee for the accident, pain and suffering he endured.”

“We work in an industry where serious harm can occur at any time and pride ourselves in ensuring that staff health and safety and wellbeing are paramount. To have this happen is unacceptable and has resulted in significant changes and improvements within the Woods Glass group.”

“We understand our responsibilities and that we must provide our staff with an environment and culture that will enable them to go home each day safe and healthy. We will embrace the Enforceable Undertaking and the lessons to be learnt.”

Full enforceable undertaking, together with the reasons for our decision

We will continue to monitor compliance of this enforceable undertaking.

Media contact details

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Phone: 021 823 007 or

Email: media@worksafe.govt.nz