Two employees injured by same machine after safety failings of their employer

Posted on 10/11/13 in News, No Comments

First Reported by the Health & Safety Executive:

A cable manufacturing company has been prosecuted and fined by the Health & Safety executive after serious safety failings led to the injury of two employees in two separate accidents on the same machine at its factory.

The first man was cleaning the rollers of the machine when his left arm became trapped. He hit the stop button but the machine rotated three quarters of the way around before it came to a halt. The legal maximum is 57 degrees; therefore the machine rotated five times the legal limit before it stopped. His arm was dragged into the rollers raising his entire body off the floor. The emergency services attended but it took them almost an hour to release the man.

Doctors initially thought the man’s arm would need to be amputated but the bleeding was eventually stemmed after 2 days, and this was avoided. However he needed 12 operations as well as skin grafts and now cannot expose the arm to direct sunlight. He was kept in hospital for nearly a month.

The second man was cleaning the blade on the machine, which is used to mould rubber together, when he accidently leant on the operating pedal which trapped his index finger and caused a deep cut. The court was advised that the pedal should have been fitted with a guard to stop the machine from being accidently started.

The Health and Safety Executive found serious safety failings on behalf of the men’s employer. Employees had not received suitable training, safety features of the machine were missing and inadequate, the machine was poorly maintained and there was no safe system of work in place

The company was fined £18,000.00 and was ordered to pay over £10,000.00 in costs.

After the Hearing, HSE Inspector Helen Mansfield said:

“Two employees were injured within a month of each other because TCB Arrow’s health and safety procedures fell way below the minimum legal standards.

“One of the men will be affected by his injuries for the rest of his life after losing almost all of the use of his left arm. His injuries could have been avoided if the company had taken action to improve safety following the first incident.

“Our investigation found TCB last carried out a generic risk assessment for the factory in 2003, and there had never been a specific assessment of the machine – despite the risks of workers being injured by rollers being well known in the manufacturing industry.

“If the company had put more thought into the health and safety of its employees then the injuries both men suffered could have been avoided.”

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