Health & Safety
Health and Safety

Company fined £200,000 after worker breaks arm in two places

A worker was caught in a machine, breaking his arm in two places. Footage of the incident has been released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after the company was fined £200,000.

The 22-year-old, from Newcastle, had only recently started working as a manufacturing operative and was undergoing training on the company’s 60-metre lathe when the incident occurred on 12 November 2021.

The man was working at the rear of the lathe when the rubber material he had just applied fell from the steel mandrel. He instinctively reached to grab the material, and at the same time the lathe started, pulling him into the machine. This resulted in his left arm being broken in two places.

Following investigations into the incident, the manufacturer’s manual for the machine stated that the lathe should be enclosed with a fixed perimeter guard, and that access to the work area by persons other than the machine operator prevented.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to take effective measures to prevent access to the dangerous parts of the lathe, and that its system of work required employees to stand in an area that was meant to be enclosed by guards.

The company was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £3,653.70 in costs at Magistrates’ Court on 4 May 2023.

HSE inspector Stephen Garner said: “After this accident, the company was able to install perimeter guards to prevent access to the rear of its 60-metre lathe, and altered its system of work so that operation of the lathe could be carried out from the safe area at the front of the machine – as intended by its manufacturer. This accident could have been prevented if action had been taken earlier.

Safe and compliant workplaces reduce risk and prevent harm

Health and safety risk assessments help you to identify anything that could cause injury in your workplace.

As an employer, you’re required by law to protect your employees, and others, from harm.

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the minimum you must do is:

  • identify what could cause injury or illness in your business (hazards)
  • decide how likely it is that someone could be harmed and how seriously (the risk)
  • take action to eliminate the hazard, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk

Assessing risk is just one part of the overall process used to control risks in your workplace.

To be legally compliant, organisations need to do regular health and safety risk assessments to reduce workplace harm and eliminate costly fines. Often, it’s not about eliminating risk completely, it’s about controlling the risk and providing a safe framework that your workplace can adhere to.

The Safety First way

After we have done a thorough health and safety risk assessment, our qualified technicians will:

  • Demonstrate how compliant you are
  • Decide on the severity of any risk that exists
  • Identify measures that need to be implemented to control any risks
  • Advise which members of staff need to be included in controlling risk
  • Provide regular risk reports

If you call us on 0845 004 2133 or send an enquiry, we can discuss your current requirements and advise on initial steps.

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