Nottingham Crown Court has fined a company £200,000 with costs of £100,000 after admitting breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into an incident where a 51 year old worker was fatally injured after being pulled into an industrial blender, has revealed significant health and safety failings. The incident occurred in January 2011 when the employee was attempting to clear a blockage.
The court heard that the industrial blender is an integral part of a production line which produces bitumen and paper pellets used in road repair and reinforcement.
The HSE told the court that the safety guard had been removed and the machine had not been isolated from the electricity supply.
Additionally, the court was told that the production line operated on several floors and was monitored by a computerised system. However, the blender machine was situated on a floor without a monitor and was there was no line of sight from the control point to the blender.
The HSE told the court that when the production line was in operation, it was very noisy.
Nottingham Crown Court heard that there were no written instructions on isolating equipment, no training or risk assessments and no operating manuals.
After the case was heard HSE Inspector Samantha Farrar said:
“The absence of an effective health and safety management system, including a lack of a safe system of work for equipment isolation and lock-off, risk assessment and proper training for staff, meant that all workers at the site were at risk.
“This tragic incident could have so easily been avoided if a few simple steps had been taken by the company.”
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