Case Study: Company fined after unguarded machine injury

A packaging manufacturer has been fined for safety breaches after a worker received severe hand injuries at a factory in Yorkshire.

The Situation:

On 15th June 2020, an agency worker injured their fingers when using a table saw without a guard at Loadhog Limited’s site at Hawke Street, Sheffield.

The worker, who was operating the saw, received the injuries when his fingers came into contact with a rotating saw blade. Three fingers were partially severed although they were later reattached in hospital.

The Investigation:

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the company had failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment, resulting in a failure to provide a suitable guard, allowing access to the exposed parts of the saw blade.

HSE has guidance for people and companies who own, operate or have control over work equipment and how to use it safely.

The Conclusion:

At Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on April 25th, Loadhog Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. They were fined £100,000 and also ordered to pay £3,139.75 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Laura Hunter said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply implementing the correct control measures and safe working practices.”

How can businesses ensure the safety of employees when using equipment?

Here is what the HSE requires businesses to have in place or must be done to manage the relevant risks:

  • Ensure the equipment is suitable for purpose.
  • Ensure work equipment risks are recorded.
  • Ensure work equipment is only used for suitable purposes.
  • Ensure work equipment is in good repair.
  • Keep maintenance logs up to date.
  • Inspect after installation and before being put into use.
  • Inspect to ensure faults are detected in good time.
  • Ensure that all people are provided with health and safety information.
  • Ensure that all people received adequate training.
  • Ensure that the use of the equipment is restricted to those people trained and appointed to use it.
  • Ensure to take effective measures to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery – such as fixed guarding.
  • Control the risks from parts and substances falling or being ejected from work equipment.
  • Ensure that the risks from very hot or cold temperatures from the work equipment or the material are managed.
  • Ensure that work equipment is provided with identifiable controls.
  • Ensure work equipment is stabilised.
  • Ensure maintenance operations on work equipment can be carried out safely while the equipment is shut down.

For Health and Safety Advice, contact Sentient

Romero Insurance Group clients will be able to take advantage of Sentient, a HR outsourcing and Health and Safety training business. Sentient has recently been acquired by the Romero Group, and we have adopted their services into our offering.

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