This article was published on July 15th, 2015
The number of workplace accidents caused by unguarded machinery is sadly still high. It seems inconceivable that when a company chooses to install a heavy bit of kit onto its premises that it would not follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and ensure the necessary safety guards and barriers where in place to protect their staff from injury.
Yet again the Health and Safety Executive have had to step in to investigate a workplace accident after a worker sustained serious injuries to his right leg, with the partial loss of two toes. The 45 year old employee was working for a brick manufacturer at the time of the accident. He was working near a machine that breaks up clay and his leg became jammed in the machine when he accidentally stepped into it.
The HSE’s investigation found that the recently installed machine did not have the necessary guards or barriers in place to prevent such accidents despite a recently conducted risk assessment which stated them as a requirement. A Court therefore found the company guilty of breaching Regulation 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company has been fined £18,500, plus costs of £7,500
An HSE Inspector said:
“This incident would not have happened if simple precautions such as putting up a barrier or guard had been in place. Safeguards cannot be relaxed because a machine is being commissioned or tested.”
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