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This article was published on October 21st, 2015
The Health and Safety executive investigated and prosecuted a firm after one of its workers had a close shave and was nearly killed by a piece of machinery. The accident happened when one of its employees was using a pipe threading machine and a piece of his clothing got entangled and dragged him into the jaws of the machine.
The Magistrates Court heard how the worker was wearing a hoody top at the time of the accident and he was using the machine for the second ever time. He was feeding a pipe into a threading machine and, as the pipe began to spin, his hoody snagged in the machine and dragged him in and wrapped him around the pipe causing him to be unable to breath.
Colleagues rushed to help and freed him from his top but he had suffered two serious breaks in his arm and had to undergo an operation to fit two metal plates and 12 pins into his arm. The accident has left him with life changing injuries.
The Court upheld the HSE’s findings that a comprehensive risk assessment should have been carried out and security measures such as effective clamps should have been fitted to hold the pipe or guarding/safety devices in place to prevent access to the dangerous rotating pipe.
The company accepted the findings and was fined £12,000 after admitting to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, Regulation 11(1) and breaching the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, Regulation 3(1).
An HSE inspector said: “This accident was entirely preventable. This could very easily have been a fatality.
“It is imperative that risk assessments are carried out in order to identify significant risks and suitable control measures to be put in place to eliminate or reduce such risks.”
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