Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Global Displays Limited fined after unstable stack collapses on employee

Global Displays Limited, a manufacturing firm in Worcestershire, was fined £ 15,179 (inc.costs) after a worker suffered crush injuries when wooden panels fell onto him.
The circumstances were:
  • The company failed to identify the risks from storing timber boards close to work benches and a thoroughfare used by employees. 
  • They had not provided a safe place for the boards to be stored so they would not fall over.
  • On 8 April 2017, there was an upright stack of 4m x 1m panels, with several smaller panels resting against it untied, causing the whole stack to become unstable.
  • These toppled over and hit an employee, causing a dislocated shoulder and fractured arm as a result.

The HSE inspector said:
This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out a risk assessment in relation to the storage of display panel boards. This would have identified the risks from unsafe stacking and the need for appropriate control measures, such as a method for storing boards safely. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

Employee loses finger in unguarded rotating roller

Printing company V P Packaging Ltd was fined £21,346 (inc.costs) after an employee suffered a crush injury whilst cleaning machinery.
The circumstances were:
  • On 11 January 2018, an employee was cleaning a roller on an envelope-making machine.
  • The roller was unguarded and was running.
  • The cloth she was holding got caught and her hand was drawn into the rollers.
  • She suffered an amputation to her right-hand middle finger and two other fingers were fractured, with some degloving of the skin.

The HSE inspector said
“This injury could have been easily prevented, and the risk should have been identified. Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures like suitable guards, to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.”
SSS Note:
The proper situation is to have either fixed guards or interlocked guards over rollers with in-running nips.  Cleaning should be done with the machine stopped.  However, it may be done on slow-crawl or hold-to-run providing the operator is wearing low-tensile strength gloves which tear rather than drawing in the hand. 

Nylcast fined £303,000 after an ejected rod killed an employee.

Nylacast Limited, who manufacture plastic products has been fined £303,205 (inc.costs) after the death of an employee.
The circumstances were:
  • The company failed to undertake a suitable and sufficient assessment of the long length rod machine in order to ensure that all foreseeable hazards had been identified.
  • On 15 April 2016, an employee was in the process of removing a cast plastic rod from a casting machine.
  • The rod was secured in the machine by a pressurised piston which should have been depressurised before attempting to remove the rod. It was not.
  • As he started to remove the rod, the metal retaining end cap and plastic rod were forcibly ejected.
  • The rod, travelling at an estimated 81 mph hit him in the chest.
  • He died the following day

The HSE inspector said
“Those in control of work equipment have a responsibility to undertake a suitably robust assessment in order to ensure that all foreseeable hazards have been identified. Had this hazard been identified, suitable engineering controls could have been devised and implemented to minimise the risk, therefore this death could have been prevented.”

Friday, 13 July 2018

Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.7bn to 22 women

Interesting that Johnson & Johnson have had to pay $4.7bn to 22 women because of a claim that ovarian cancer was caused by talc [Magnesium Silicate Mg3Si4O10(OH)2 ] which was apparently tainted with Chrysotile ("White" asbestos) [Magnesium Silicate MG3Si2O5(OH)4 ].

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Example of very poor SWL notices on new racking.

Here's an example of some really confusing safe working load (SWL) information on racking just installed by a specialist company.  The bays were of varying length (and varying beam depth, hence the otherwise surprising ability of a longer beam to sustain heavier loads than a short one.)

The first thing that is confusing is the variation between the notices.  Is the SWL for a 1150mm long level 500 kg or 750 kg? Similarly, is that for a 2235mm long level 1000 kg or 1500 kg?

The other thing that is confusing is positioning the 2225 and 3600 bay SWLs on the beam.

The whole thing is very poor and you cannot expect forklift truck drivers to understand, let alone follow, this.

A typical SEMA notice is as shown below. 

Note how it is quite clear what the bay load is and what the level load is.

In my opinion, what needs to be done in this situation where you have bays of varying width is to have the SWL per level and per bay marked on the lowest of the beams in each bay, eg "SWL: 500 kg per level, 2500 kg per bay".

Sunday, 18 March 2018

York House (Meat Products) Limited fined £110,567 after fall whilst adjusting racking

York House (Meat Products) Limited was fined £110,567 (inc.costs) for safety breaches after a worker was injured whilst adjusting storage racking.

The circumstances were:
  • The company required the height of shelves on storage racking to be adjusted.
  • The company failed to adequately manage the risks associated with working at height. 
  • No safe system of work was in place.
  • Employees were not aware of the dangers associated with climbing storage racking.
  • On 12 April 2016, an employee was instructed to adjust the height of shelves on storage racking with the assistance of co-workers.
  • To enable them to reposition the top shelves of the racking the workers climbed up onto one of the lower crossbars 
  • This crossbar gave way underneath them
  • One of the workers fell, hitting his head on the racking before landing on the floor. 
  • The dislodged crossbar fell from a height of 3.2m, hitting the employee on the back of the head and shoulders.
  • The injured individual suffered soft tissue damage to his right shoulder and required physiotherapy for several months. He was also unable to work for two months.

The HSE inspector said:
“This incident could have been prevented had York House Meat Products provided a risk assessment or a safe system of work for the task in hand. Employees should be made aware of the risks associated with climbing storage racking.”

Glynwed Pipe Systems Ltd., fined £1million after a delivery driver was fatally injured.

Plastic product manufacturer Glynwed Pipe Systems Ltd., was fined £1million + costs after a delivery driver was fatally injured.
The circumstances were:
  • Glynwed Pipe Systems Ltd failed to properly manage workplace transport in the yard area.
  • The systems of work in place were not, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe.
  • Gareth Wilson, a delivery driver for Mark Doel Transport Ltd, was fatally injured when he was struck by a fork lift truck which had large coils suspended from the forks.

The HSE inspector said:
“There are more than 5,000 accidents involving transport in the workplace every year, and, like in this case, sadly some of which are fatal. The HSE investigation found the yard was not organised to allow safe circulation of people and traffic as appropriate routes were not identified and therefore insufficient in number. A properly implemented Traffic Management Plan should have identified sufficient measures for the separation of vehicles and people including protected walkways, clear signage and barriers.”