Worker suffers broken neck due to employers Health & Safety Failings

Posted on 07/31/13 in News, No Comments

Worker suffers broken neck due to employers Health & Safety Failings

First Reported by the Health and Safety Executive on 19th July 2013:

A 39 year old employee of a steel engineering company has suffered serious neck and arm injuries due to his employer’s failure to install protective guards to a rotating spindle.

The employee was drilling holes into a metal box when the sleeve on his overalls became entangled in a drill spindle, which was unguarded. His arm and upper body were dragged into the rotating spindle as it spun leaving him pinned to the machine bed unable to reach the stop button.  He was left shouting for help before an employee eventually freed him.

The man was in hospital for 7 weeks, was in a neck brace for six months and had to undergo a long course of physiotherapy. One side of his body has been left permanently weakened by his injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted the man’s employee for serious safety failings. They had provided no guards to prevent access to the rotating spindles and no proper system of work was in place and there was no supervision or training.

The company pleaded guilty to the breach of health and safety law and was fined and ordered to pay costs of over £20,000.00

HSE inspector Marie-Louise Riley-Roberts said:

“The risk of contact with rotating drills is a recognised hazard in the engineering industry and is supported by well-documented accident statistics.

“Incidents involving entanglement on rotating drills are easily avoided if manufacturers follow their risk assessments and provide guarding.

“The custom and practice of the company was to rely on experience rather than on the need for guarding with the addition of, supervision and further instruction and training, as necessary. These failings had existed for a considerable amount of time until the practise of using unguarded machines became normal working practice for the employees. The result was that this was an accident waiting to happen and the employee suffered serious injuries.

“This accident could have been prevented by the simple measure of providing guarding to prevent access to the rotating parts.

“Employers who neglect their duty to protect workers will continue to be held to account where they fail to do so.”

If you have suffered a similiar injury due to an accident at work, we may be able to help you obtain compensation for your injuries.  Please leave a query on our website.

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