Guard your people - Guard your Business - Guard Your Machines - Engineering firm fined over worker injury

22/06/2015 08:28

Worksafe and its inspectors are currently focusing on Engineering companies to improve safety in this industry. Recently they have been visiting business in the Bay of Plenty area - They are particularly focussing on Machine guarding - Traffic Management and Air Quality. They have also released a number of resources that can help business improve safety in their workplaces particularly around the use of workshop machinery. These can be applied in any workplace that uses machinery. Click here to see these: safe-use-of-machinery-guidelines.pdf (5,4 MB). In addition a machinery toolkit can be accessed at WorkSafe NZ . The example from England below emphasises the importance of ensuring workers are guarded against moving parts and wearing clothing appropriate for the work they are doing to prevent entrapment.

 

Date: 12 June 2015

A precision engineering firm have been fined after an incident in which an employee was seriously hurt. 

Trafford magistrates heard an employee of Metool Co Ltd was working in the pipe shop in the factory as a “pipe bender”. On the 31st July 2014 he was working in the pipe shop and was tasked with putting slits into dipsticks using a milling machine. This was a task that was routinely carried out on the milling machine. 

The worker was asked by his manager to make slits in 75 dip sticks as there was a fault with a previous order. After completing a couple of cuts the worker noticed that the blade was not cutting correctly and the blade was blunt. He spoke to his manager to see if there were any more blades that could be used. A new blade was found and put on the milling machine. 

After undertaking one cut, the employee started the machine up but noticed the coolant was not going towards the blade because the coolant pipe had moved on the machine bed. He was standing in front of the machine with his hand to the right of the rotating blade and he moved his hand to the right of the blade and moved the coolant tube so the coolant was hitting the blade, as he did this he moved his arm back and his right jumper sleeve got caught in the blade. The blade was rotating clockwise and his hand was pulled down and drawn into the blade. 

The blade cut the bottom of his right wrist, twisted his arm and cut the top of his wrist. This caused his hand to drop away from his forearm. With his right hand still trapped in the blade he used his left hand to reach the on off switch at the top of the milling machine head. 

The injured man was taken to hospital where he underwent plastic surgery and a nerve graft. He hospital for eight days and is still awaiting further surgery to enable more movement in his hand. He cannot yet return to work. 

Metool Co Ltd, a precision engineers, fabricators and tube manipulators of Unit 6, Salmonfields, Royton, Oldham pleading guilty of breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, Regulation 11 (1) at Trafford Magistrates’ Court and were fined £18,000 with costs of £801. 

Notes to editors:

1.      11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 sates: “Every employer shall ensure that measures are taken in accordance (a)to prevent access to any dangerous part of machinery or to any rotating stock-bar; or (b)to stop the movement of any dangerous part of machinery or rotating stock-bar before any part of a person enters a danger zone.

2.      Further HSE news releases are available at gov.uk/press