The Labour Department is investigating a Southland meat plant after claims 12 staff lost 13 fingers between them while using bandsaws in the past 18 months.
Among those injured was one person who returned to working on the saws after losing a finger only to lose another, The Southland Times reported.
Labour Department southern regional manager Sheila McBreen-Kerr said about 20 incidents at the Talleys-owned South Pacific Meats plant involving serious harm had been investigated during the past two years.
"Many of these involved bandsaws...the amputation of fingers, or parts of fingers, and serious lacerations to fingers and hands." Ms McBreen-Kerr told the newspaper.
The high number of incidents showed a long-running disregard for health and safety issues in the use of bandsaws, she said.