Sheffield Crown Court has heard the findings of a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report into how a 49 year old worker from Doncaster died while using a hand held grinding machine in March 2012.
The HSE reported that the worker died at the scene after an abrasive disc became disconnected from a device and hit him in the face.
The Crown Court was told that the steel foundry was guilty of several serious safety failings. Firstly, the abrasive disc was nine inches in diameter but the tool diameter was only two inches, secondly it was attached to a non-propriety tool. The HSE also reported that the disc was rated to operate at 6650 rpm but the machinery was running at approximately twice that speed.
The HSE revealed that a number of other incidents using the grinder had occurred before the fatality but had not been recorded or acted upon.
The court fined the company £150,000 and ordered to pay £24,000 in costs after admitting breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
After the case was heard, HSE Inspector Jill Thompson said:
“Employers must make sure that all work involving grinding is assessed for safety to make sure that poor or potentially dangerous practices are removed.”
Visit http://www.hse.gov.uk for free guidance on safety in use of abrasive wheels.