Health & Safety – A Nice to Have or a Must Have?

Company in Court Over Worker’s Injuries

 

A company has been fined after a worker suffered serious injuries when he was dragged into dangerous parts of a moving machine.

 

The employee was reaching over to adjust a component on a machine when his overalls became caught, pulling him in and twisting him around.A quick-thinking colleague pushed the emergency stop button and cut the employee’s overalls to stop them from becoming more entangled before the rotating cylinder came to a halt.

 

The employee sustained injuries to his back and knee, and required 12 stitches to his arm. He was off work for 7 weeks as a result of his injuries.

 

The court was told that the company made several changes to its working practices following the incident, including removing protruding screws from the cylinders, operating the machine at a slower speed when adjustments were being made, and changing the clothing worn by employees.

 

The company was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £3,767 costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

 

Speaking after the hearing, the HSE Inspector said:

 

“An employee was badly injured in the incident but it could easily have been much worse if his colleague hadn’t acted quickly to stop the machine and cut his overalls free.

 

“Workers at the factory were put at a significant risk of their clothes becoming entangled on a daily basis so it was almost inevitable that someone would eventually be injured.

 

The company should have carried out a proper assessment of the risks faced by workers, and then acted to tackle the dangers. If the measures the company implemented following the incident had been in place sooner, then the employee’s injuries could have been avoided.”

 

For friendly, informative and no nonsense advice on both HR and Health & Safety matters, call Sue Green on 07951 356700 or visit the website evergreenhr.co.uk