Birmingham Magistrates’ Court has fined a local engineering company £12,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £1,178 after breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
An investigation held by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) highlighted significant safety failings.
The HSE told the court that a 32 year old employee suffered serious injuries to both arms. His left arm was broken and both wrists damaged, after his arms were pulled into a high powered lathe.
The court heard that the machine was guarded but this had been defeated making use of the machine dangerous.
After the case was heard, Clive Neil from the HSE stated:
“[The employee] was using emery cloth to finish polishing the prop shaft in the computer numerical controlled (CNC) lathe. The machine had an interlocked guard which would have prevented him doing this work in the unsafe manner that ultimately caused his serious injuries, but this had been defeated. Polishing with emery cloth should never take place on CNC lathes.”
“There was a disconnect between the company’s risk assessment and the way tasks were actually carried out on the shop floor. This led to unsafe systems of work, which caused a relatively inexperienced employee to suffer serious injuries. It is only down to luck that [the employee] was not more seriously injured – amputations, even fatalities, have occurred in similar incidents.”