£ 530,000 after worker injured hand in lathe
UK brick product manufacturer Ibstock Brick Ltd has been fined for safety breach after a worker’s hand became entangled and wrapped around the rotating shaft of a lathe.
The North Staffordshire Justice Center learned how on February 28, 2020, a maintenance engineer was polishing a metal shaft as it spun in a manual lathe, using emery cloth directly in his hand and wearing gloves. The emery cloth got tangled around the rotating shaft and dragged the engineer into the lathe, which tore his hand in the machine. The engineer then underwent a surgical amputation under his elbow.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that there were deficiencies in the arrangements and controls for the task being performed. The risk assessment in place was not appropriate and sufficient as it did not properly assess or address the risk of entanglement associated with the direct manual application of emery cloth to the workpiece or to the use of gloves. Training, instruction and supervision were inadequate to ensure that the risks of entanglement with gloves or emery cloth were avoided.
Ibstock Brick Ltd of Audley Road, Newcastle under Lyme pleaded guilty to violating section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety Act 1974 and was fined £ 530,000 and costs from £ 4,548.20
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Marie-Louise Riley-Roberts said: “Those who control the work have a responsibility to assess the risks and design safe working methods in which their employees must then be. educated and trained. If Ibstock Brick Ltd had put in place effective management arrangements for the task undertaken and ensured that its employees followed a safe working system, based on risk assessment, safe working systems, supervision, information, education and training, then the life changing injuries suffered by this worker could have been avoided.
“Companies should know that the HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those who fail to meet the required standards.”