Health and Safety accident results in £20,000 fine
A manufacturing company has been fined in excess of £20,000 after a health and safety accident. A worker’s hand was drawn into a roller and crushed after the company had not correctly assessed the risks involved.
At the time of the accident, Chris Ellor, a director of the company, was training the worker how to use a specific rolling machine which bends and shapes pieces of steel tube. The worker was feeding the tubing between the rollers of the machine and the gloves he was wearing caught between the rollers. His hand was drawn into the machine injuring his finger, which later had to be amputated from the second knuckle.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had not looked at the risks and hazards in a machine-specific risk assessment so the risk of entanglement in moving parts had not been highlighted. The worker had no previous experience of working on a machine of this nature and had not taken any additional training. The company failed to look at the dangers of using gloves when working with machinery.
Dealercast Ltd of Barton Hall Industrial Estate, Hardy Street, Eccles, Manchester pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined in excess £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,661. In addition to this, Director Christopher Ellor pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, by virtue of 37(1) of the Act. He was fined £1,280 and ordered to pay costs of £3,461.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE principal inspector Peter Lennon, said: “Employers should ensure they carry out risk assessments and put in place a safe system of work for the operation of all machinery. Companies should be aware of their responsibilities. Employers should also be aware of the risk of entanglement when wearing gloves whilst operating machinery.
“Had the company put in place a clear system of work and prohibited the wearing of gloves when operating this machinery, the incident could have been avoided.”
What do we say?
This is a warning to all companies who use machines and the need to check the machines on a regular basis including guard rails and emergency stop systems. It also shows how a company can be fined, but equally the Director was also prosecuted and fined.
Consider the following:
- Is there a risk assessment in place that covers hazards of the machine and possible entrapment?
- Are staff aware of the hazards and what to do if there were an accident?
- Have you got a safe working procedure?
- Is the workplace being checked on a daily/weekly basis?
Employers and business owners should consider looking at HSE guidance on equipment and machinery.
Further Health & Safety Guidance
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