Man injured by lap at Kent Auto Developments on Romney Marsh
A man who was injured while working with a metalworking tool at an engineering company says he avoided death in ‘seconds’.
Joshua Halls lacerated his arm after being caught in a lap while working at Kent Auto Developments on Romney Marsh.
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The 22-year-old says his “whole life has changed” following the accident, which saw the Newchurch-based company slapped with a bill of almost £20,000.
Mr Halls was using the lathe – a tool that spins an object at high speed – to polish a car’s brake drum, when the rag he was using snagged on the mechanism.
Her arm was pulled into the machine, severely lacerating her and severing her neck and face.
“I was lucky not to wear overalls because it was hot,” he said.
“If I had been, the sleeves would have stuck and things would have been much worse. I could have lost my arm or died.
“I only had a few seconds, if that, to get out of it otherwise it could have killed me.”
However, Mr Halls’ problems did not end after the horrific incident, which saw him needing multiple stitches in his arm.
He says the company not only failed to report the incident to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as required, but also tried to blame him for the incident.
“They pressured me to return to work shortly after the incident, and I did so because that’s what I thought I had to do,” he explained.
“It was supposed to be light duty, but I was doing the same job as before, and it hurt.
“When I complained, I was told the injury was my fault.
“It was the last day I was at work there. They didn’t even report it to the HSE – I did.”
Following an investigation by the HSE, Kent Auto Developments pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety legislation, as well as failing to report the injury at the right time.
At Folkestone Magistrates’ Court, the company – based at Brooker Farm – was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £6,349 in additional costs.
An HSE report said similar events across the UK have resulted in serious injuries, including severed limbs.
HSE Inspector Sam Brown said: ‘We still see incidents like this where unsafe working practices with machinery lead to injury, despite there being specific guidance issued by the HSE.
“Workers coming into contact with machinery are the fourth leading cause of workplace fatalities in Britain, with 14 people killed in 2020/21.
“More than 50,000 non-fatal injuries were reported by employers in the same year.
“Employers should ensure that measures are taken to prevent workers from injuring themselves where it is clear that people are at risk of becoming entangled in machinery.
“It is important that when people are injured, the relevant authorities are informed so that action can be taken to prevent it from happening again.”
Kent Auto Developments has been contacted for comment.