Cleaning firm fined after employee injuries

22nd of June 2011

A cleaning company in New Zealand has been fined over 45,000 euros after employees were badly injured in two separate incidents in August last year.

Both incidents happened at a meat processing plant in Hawera where the company, Ecowize, had the contract to clean the premises.

In the first incident an employee suffered serious burns to her chest, neck and ears when a hose she was using to clean the offal processing room burst and sprayed her with hot water.

In the second incident, another employee suffered burns to his eyes when the chemical solution he was using to clean the slaughter room floor splashed out of a bucket onto his face.

"The company didn't have adequate emergency procedures or hazard identification in place which is unacceptable," Department of Labour New Plymouth service manager Jo Pugh said outside court.

"In the first incident on August 4 it was clear the company was not maintaining its equipment properly - causing a hot water hose to burst, leaving an employee seriously injured," she said.

"Our investigation of the second incident on August 25 found that inadequate equipment was used to hold the chemicals while cleaning and a hosing tube wasn't long enough to reach the chemicals to input them into the system. We found that the company's staff monitoring practices were lacking," Pugh added.


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