Rotherham Magistrates has fined a South Yorkshire firm £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,595 after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
The sentence followed a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into how a 25 year old worker had his arm pulled into an unguarded machine resulting in a broken arm in three places.
The court heard that the conveyor the worker was using was insufficiently guarded. In particular, the tail drum where the employee was stationed was unguarded and there was no emergency stop facility.
The HSE told the court that the worker was inexperienced and was left on his own to operate the conveyor. The machinery became blocked and after clearing the blockage, his hand was drawn into the moving parts causing injury.
The HSE reported that the management had no system in place to check the machinery was appropriately guarded and the emergency stop buttons were working.
Furthermore, the firm failed to act on written advice from the HSE on a previous occasion regarding the safety of other machines on their site.
After the case was heard, Carol Downes from the HSE said:
“Employers have a duty to ensure that machinery is properly guarded and should take steps to ensure that guards remain in place. HSE will continue to prosecute when worker safety is compromised.”