Driver partially amputates finger
A loader driver who partially amputated a finger when he tried to close a window and hit a bump at Spicer Landfill was one of 28 injuries suffered by council workers in the past year.
A report to Porirua City Council’s audit and risk committee in June contained a health and safety briefing that noted a total of 69 incidents, including nearmisses, over the past year to March 31.
It found two notifiable events during the first few months of this year, events where serious harm may have occurred and needed to be reported to Worksafe NZ.
The worst involved a contractor who tried to close a window while driving a loader at the landfill on a late-afternoon in February.
‘‘To do this he put his right hand on the window sill and used his left hand to shut the window,’’ the report said.
‘‘The loader went over a bump which caused the window to slam shut resulting in partial amputation of his middle finger on his right hand.’’
The contractor closed the scene and did an investigation with WorkSafe NZ. As a result, the contractor has replaced the missing window closure handle and refresher training was given to staff.
The worker was back at work on a return to work plan, and working with an occupational therapist along with ACC to get back to fulltime employment.
The second incident involved a contractor who was digging a post-hole with a kango hammer at Kura Park at Titahi Bay when he damaged an electrical cable on the morning of January 25.
‘‘This had the potential to cause electric shock under slightly different circumstances and WorkSafe were notified,’’ the report said.
WorkSafe NZ did not request any further information, however the council voluntarily undertook to do a duty holder review, which is WorkSafe NZ’s investigation form, to learn any lessons.
The investigation highlighted the need for the contractor to use a cable locator for any excavation work, which has been specified as a requirement for any excavation work undertaken for the council.
The council’s principal health and safety advisor, Scott Martin, said it took any incident seriously and viewed any near-miss as a learning opportunity to put steps in place to ensure it didn’t turn into an incident.
The lost time due to injuries over the period was 0.86 per cent of fulltime employees, compared with the most recently published national average of 11.01 per cent.
‘‘While we aim for zero injury, lost time and near-miss incidents, a reduction in incidents overall shows that we are moving in the right direction.’’
Two lost-time incidents involved a staff member who was trying to turn a valve on with a basin spanner when it slipped off the valve, causing a cut to their little finger resulting in four hours off work.
The other involved someone lifting a heavy item when they lost grip and dropped it, causing a steel piece to hit their ankle, requiring 11 hours off work.
Spicer Landfill, where a loader driver amputated part of his finger while working.