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October, 2019

Engineering company fined after worker suffers finger amputation

An electromagnetic brake manufacturing company was sentenced today after a worker suffered serious injuries to her arm and hand when she became entangled in a spindle drilling machine.

Peterlee Magistrates’ Court heard that on 28 September 2018, Amy Howe, an employee of Stephenson Gobin Limited, was working at the company’s Bishop Auckland site. She was working on an adapted three spindle drill, used to manufacture parts for brake motors, when her gloved hand became entangled in the unguarded rotating spindle. Amy suffered serious injuries to her arm and hand including multiple fractures and the amputation of a finger. More than a year on from the incident the mother of two young children is still unable to return to work. She faces further surgery to both her hand and arm.

HSE Stephenson Cobin Ltd

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had carried out a risk assessment on the drill and had identified that there was a risk of entanglement on the rotating parts. However, it failed to provide guarding to the area and instead relied on employees to keep their hands away from the danger area. In addition, employees were not warned about the increased dangers of entanglement when wearing heavy-duty gloves of the type being worn at the time of the incident.

Stephenson Gobin Limited, South Church Enterprise Park, Bishop Auckland, County Durham pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £5,334 with £1,369.60 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Shuna Rank: “Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards. In this incident, a worker suffered and continues to suffer from serious, life-changing injuries which could have easily been prevented.”

HSADD SAYS; It’s a great shame that when a clear risk is actually found via the safety officer that changes are not made to implement protection

Recycling company fined after employee suffers amputation

A waste recycling company has been fined after an employee lost part of his arm in a conveyor belt.

Lincoln Crown Court heard on 26 April 2015 that the employee of Mid-UK Recycling Ltd was working as a line operator in the building known as Unit 4 MRF (Material Recovery Facility). On the morning of the incident, blockages had occurred on this line and waste had become wrapped around the axle stopping a lower conveyor. It was whilst removing waste from this axle that the employee’s glove got dragged into the in-running nip between the belt and the powered roller of the conveyor. This resulted in his left arm being amputated above the elbow.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that the company had failed to prevent access to dangerous parts of the conveyor. The castell key system had essentially been bypassed allowing the system to be operated in automatic mode with persons still inside the enclosure.

Mid UK Recycling Limited (now known as MUKR Limited) of Summit House, Quarrington, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, NG34 8RS pleaded guilty to a breach of section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (1974) and was fined £1.275 million and ordered to pay costs of £45,065.59

Speaking after the hearing, HM inspector Scott Wynne said, “This incident could so easily have been avoided had the company ensured that the system designed to keep people away from dangerous machinery was properly maintained. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

HSADD SAYS – I have lost count of the number of really bad accidents in recycling plants, almost all of them stem from 1. Cost savings, 2. Lack of training, 3. Lack of understanding and the bypassing of safety systems, for which money-saving will come into it!

The fine was large in this case, although the turnover and profit are not known. The sooner Companies start to take into account the health and wellbeing of their employees the better, but I doubt this will be the last case of this nature

Ferry operator prosecuted after worker injured by moving vehicle

A ferry operator has been prosecuted after an employee sustained serious injuries when he was struck by a van being reversed out of a docked vessel.

Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard that on 17 September 2017 George Ball, a pontoon traffic marshall working for Stena Line Limited was struck by a 3.5 tonne delivery van at the company’s port terminal in Birkenhead, Wirral. The van was being reversed off the Stena Lagan vessel onto the pontoon area by a port service operative.

HSE Stenna line

The vehicle reversed over Mr Ball’s head and body after the initial collision had knocked him down. Mr Ball suffered multiple injuries that included numerous fractures to his skull, ribs and other bones, loss of sight in one eye. He has been left with double vision in the other eye and ongoing mental health problems.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was no consideration of physical segregation of pedestrian operatives from moving vehicles when vessels were being unloaded. Stena Line Limited had failed to adequately assess the risks to pedestrians from moving vehicles and consequently put in place effective control measures leading to a safe system of work.

Stena Line Limited of Station Road, Ashford, Kent, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £400,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6576.15.

HSE inspector Rohan Lye said after the hearing, “The injuries sustained by Mr Ball, which affect him to this day, were easily preventable. The risks to pedestrians from moving vehicles is an obvious one which should have been identified and controlled.

“Had Stena Line Limited employed suitable control measures the life-changing physical and emotional injuries which continue to impact Mr Ball and his family would have been avoided.”

HSADD SAYS: You cannot disagree with HSE on this case, totally avoided and to actually prevent this would have cost them a couple of thousand pounds at most and the H&S person to just take a view on the risk.

Drayton Manor to be prosecuted following death of schoolgirl

A Health and Safety Executive prosecution is being brought following the death of an 11-year-old girl at Drayton Manor theme park.

On 9 May 2017, Evha Jannath died after falling from the park’s Splash Canyon water ride.

Drayton Manor Park Ltd of Drayton Manor Drive, Tamworth, Staffordshire will face a charge under Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act.

The criminal proceedings have not yet commenced, because an inquest into Evha’s death, due to be heard in November, needs to take place first.

HSADD SAY’S – there cannot be anything worse in the world than taking your child to a theme park and then not being able to take them home, it is truly heartbreaking.

From a legal perspective, the theme park will be expected to produce lots of documents and checklists to ensure that the staff have been trained and that they have complied with the equipment checks on a daily basis they will have pages and pages of A4 checklists to get together.

With these records are not only easier to complete, faster to complete and half the costs, but they are also more thorough and cannot be lost. In addition, the Management is notified when an important check has NOT been made.

Any organisation which has children present for events or children’s clubs, childminders, have to take into account that they must keep the records until the children they are looking after are over 21 years of age, whereas a business catering for over 18’s would only be restricted to 3-4 years, in these cases a Company could be storing paper – and lots of it for 20 years plus.

Carbon Savings from just a few pages of A4 per day

Carbon emissions are now critical for people looking to trade with you

Company fined £1 million after two employees suffer burns

A car and commercial vehicle component manufacturer has been fined after two employees suffered burns whilst cleaning a distillation tank.

Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court heard how on 11 July 2017 two employees of Delphi Diesel Systems Limited were burnt when the vapour of a flammable chemical, which was being used to clean the distillation tank part of a component washer, ignited and caused an explosion. Both employees suffered significant burn injuries, with one employee’s injuries being so serious they could not return to work for over two months.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident at the company’s site in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire found that no risk assessment had been undertaken for the procedure of cleaning the distillation tank and that no safe system of work had been put in place. The investigation also found that no planning had been undertaken for the use of the flammable chemical during the cleaning activity.

Delphi Diesel Systems Limited of Brunel Way, Stroudwater Business Park, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire has pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company has been fined £1,000,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,374.

Speaking after the case HSE principal inspector Paul Thompson said “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe systems of work, and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in those systems, as well as the substances they use.

“If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the injuries suffered by the employees could have been prevented”