Tyre company prosecuted after unguarded machine caused injury to labourer who died later of heart attack…
A tyre services company based in Somerset has been prosecuted after a worker sustained injuries when his trousers got caught up in an unguarded lathe. The man died shortly after the incident as a result of a heart attack.
The 70-year-old accident victim from Gillingham injured his right leg and sustained severe bruising to both his leg and arm during the incident which occurred at Castle Cary on 18 August 2012. His death from a cardiac arrest in the aftermath of the incident however was an unforeseen tragedy.
Yeovil Magistrates’ Court was told that at the time of the accident, the man had been drilling a hole into a stock bar and had failed to notice part of his trouser leg getting caught in a rotating rod attached to the lathe.
The subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that the lathe that the man’s trousers became entangled in didn’t have any kind of protective guard. The company had failed in their legal duty to undertake a full risk assessment with regard to using the lathe which would have informed them of a need for appropriate guarding. Instead the company allowed access to dangerous parts of their machinery which ultimately led to the tragic incident.
The company was fined £9,000 and ordered to pay £16,302 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
HSE Inspector Matt Tyler commented after the hearing:
“This incident could have been prevented had the company fitted a guard to the machine.
“The law clearly states that employers should take steps to protect employees from harm arising from their work. In the case of machinery, moving parts that could cause injury should be guarded or made safe so that people cannot come into contact with them.”
Author: Julian Roberts
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