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New Zealand aluminium plant owners fined after explosion injures worker

19 August 2015

McKechnie Aluminium Solutions was fined $33,000 and ordered to pay $15,000 in reparations to a worker who suffered serious burns in an explosion on 23 May 2014 at its Bell Block plant in New Zealand’s North Island.

Stock image
Stock image

According to, the court heard how in 2014 the employee worked in the foundry department of the company, which makes aluminium logs, and was struck by molten aluminium after a mould exploded.

This was not the first time safety concerns have been raised in connection with the company. In November 2012, another worker died from a head injury after falling from a platform in the foundry department.

Worksafe chief inspector Keith Stewart said the findings of the May 2014 investigation highlighted that McKechnie employees had not been properly trained and also lacked the proper gear for what was "inherently dangerous" work. Stewart said there was also a lack of supervision of staff on site.

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