Woods Glass

We have accepted an enforceable undertaking from Woods Glass after an incident on 28 January 2017.

On 28 January 2017, a worker attempted to clear a jam on a laminated glass cutting machine via the computer control panel without success. A stopper arm failed to lift automatically causing the machine to stop. There was no isolation mechanism to prevent inadvertent start-up. The worker gained access to the machine through an open concertina gate, walked through the light beam that ran down the length of the cutting table where a bridge unit moves forward and backwards and jumped up onto the cutting table. He put his foot inside the bridge unit to reach over and manually lift the stopper arm. As soon as the stopper arm had been lifted, the machine acknowledged that the jam had been cleared and automatically continued to run. The bridge unit moved forward and crushed the worker’s leg.

He suffered a compound dislocation of his left ankle. He was taken to hospital where he spent two weeks before recovering for a period of approximately 2.5 months at home

Alleged Breach

Sections 36(1) (a), 48(1) and 2(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

Summary of Enforceable Undertaking

Woods Glass (New Zealand) Limited will:

  • Provide amends in the form of payment to the victim; support to the victim; and ACC top-up.
  • Develop; resource; and implement, a suite of initiatives to benefit their workplace and workers.
  • Host workshops for Lisec cutting machine operators within the glass industry.
  • Present and sponsor a session at the Windows Association of New Zealand, and Glass Association New Zealand annual conferences.
  • Present specialised training courses in conjunction with the Glass & Glazing Institute NZ.
  • Produce video and pamphlet community resources on health safety & well-being; and inclusion and diversity.
  • Offer a scholarship for a trade qualification at the Mount Albert Unitech Institute of Technology.
  • Provide sponsorship to CADS Auckland.

This enforceable undertaking has a total expenditure of at least $217,000.00

Reasons for Accepting the Undertaking

The alleged contravention does not amount to an offence against section 47 (reckless conduct) which would preclude an enforceable undertaking from being accepted.

The enforceable undertaking meets the requirements of WorkSafe’s Enforceable Undertakings Operational Policy (July 2017); noting:

  • The nature of the proposals in the application and the benefits that would be realised to the health and safety system from them.
    • The activities in the enforceable undertaking will provide long-term sustainable health and safety improvements in the workplace; industry; and community.
  • The nature of the alleged contravention and how serious it was.
    • The incident was serious.
  • Information received from any interested party in relation to the contravention.
    • The victim supports an enforceable undertaking as a suitable enforcement outcome to the incident.
  • Mitigation and remedial action, already taken, or planned, regarding both the contravention and any person affected by the contravention (including victims).
  • The person’s past performance and history of compliance with health and safety legislation is satisfactory.
  • Any likely outcome if the matter were dealt with by legal proceedings.
    • A charge was filed in relation to this incident on the basis that there was both evidential sufficiency, and a public interest in doing so: a successful prosecution may have resulted.
    • In addition to the measures outlined above, Woods Glass (New Zealand) Limited has:
      • Expressed regret that the incident occurred and that a serious injury was suffered by the victim.
      • Immediately taken remedial action to address the work practices that led to the incident.
  • The person’s past performance and history of compliance with health and safety legislation is satisfactory.
  • Any likely outcome if the matter were dealt with by legal proceedings.
    • A charge was filed in relation to this incident on the basis that there was both evidential sufficiency, and a public interest in doing so: a successful prosecution may have resulted.
  • Any other matter which WorkSafe thinks is relevant.
    • The undertaking delivers benefits beyond compliance.
    • The undertaking offers sufficient benefit to the workplace, industry and community to offset the seriousness of the offending.
    • The undertaking contains acceptable terms.
    • The undertaking accounts for the benefits that accrue to Woods Glass (New Zealand) Limited by a prosecution not proceeding.

Date accepted

19 June 2018. 

Further information

Enforceable undertaking - Woods Glass  (PDF 3.4 MB)