Teys Australia sued for $750,000 over a workplace incident

FORMER Rockhampton meatworker Peter McKenzie is suing Teys Australia for $750,000 damages after he slipped and sliced his hand in a February, 2011, workplace incident.

While working as a cleaner at the Lakes Creek-based meatworks, Mr McKenzie claims he sliced his right hand when cleaning fat, blood and waste from a small tray.

In a claim lodged last week with the Rockhampton District Court, he said the incident should have been averted.

The claim said rubbish from the kill floor, including cattle feet, heads and fat were dropped through a chute and onto a conveyer belt.

He said blood, water and other fine materials dropped off the conveyer belt and eventually into the small tray.

A damaged rubber strip on the small tray, which he had previously informed supervisors about, forced Mr McKenzie to reach in with his hand and pull the fat, blood and other waste toward him to empty it.

The claim said he was working 3m up a ladder and slipped on a rung of the fat, blood and waste-covered ladder. To try to prevent the fall, he grabbed the tray and cut his hand on its sharp edge.

As a consequence, Mr McKenzie said his flexor tendons required surgical repairs, forcing him out of work and out of a potential promotion.

His legal representative believed all this could have been avoided had Teys acted on his complaints when they were first aired.

"A case like this highlights the dangers in the workplace if complaints aren't acted on immediately," solicitor Gino Andrieri, of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, said.

Teys had not responded to The Bulletin's inquiries yesterday.



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