Rheem New Zealand Limited

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
24 October 2014
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$19,125

Safety lessons learned:

To install an effective device, such as a time delay interlocked guard or trapped key interlock system with time delay, to prevent employees accessing the hazard while the machine was running down and the impellers had residual energy. 

Defendant name:
Rheem New Zealand Limited
 
Industry:
Manufacturing
 
Date of offence:
24 October 2014
 
Facts in brief:
The Defendant company manufactures storage water heaters, volume water heaters, heating elements, and chilled water products.

The Defendant owns a blast cleaning machine known as Wheelabrator. On the day of the incident, the victim opened the guard door of machine to assess the physical condition of a wear plate of the upper impeller. When he stepped on the door sill and reached the impeller, he inserted his arm into hazardous zone of the impeller while it still had significant residual energy from the run down. The machine had just finished the cycle therefore the guard door had unlocked, permitting access during the run down.

The victim’s arm was crushed and sheared between the impeller and the lower plate. He suffered multiple fractures of bones, serious damage to tendons and lacerations.
 
Offence section:
Section 6 and section 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
 
Date charged:

Court:
Auckland - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$19,125
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
$30,000