Talley's pays worker $6000 over unsafe workplace NZ

The company has been lobbying for health and safety reforms to be softened.

Worker David Brine suffered respiratory problems, vomiting, burning eyes and coughed up blood after cleaning a meat chiller which had been chemically fogged at the Malvern freezing works.

He says he felt poisoned within 15 minutes.

Mr Brine told the Employment Relations Authority he and a colleague complained to their supervisors but were told there was nothing wrong with the chemicals - that the smell was safe and they should go back to work.

Talley's-owned South Pacific Meats was ordered to pay Brine $6000 for "hurt, humiliation and loss of dignity" because it failed to provide a safe workplace.

Talley's refused an interview but in a statement says the authority didn't uphold all of Brine's complaints, that he was blameworthy too and the company may yet appeal.

Mr Brine has since left the plant, and so has his girlfriend.

The Talley's Group, run by the recently knighted Sir Peter Talley, has campaigned hard against health and safety reforms introduced in the wake of the Pike River Mine disaster.

His submission against the Bill opposes workers electing health and safety representatives, saying it's "unreasonable" and that "unscrupulous unions" could use them to "intentionally damage or destroy a business".

The reforms have been stalled after a revolt by backbench MPs, who raised some of same concerns as Talley.