Thursday 24 November 2022

Nestle fined £807,776 after a repeat of an accident on a conveyor belt

Nestle was fined £807,776 (inc.costs) after an employee suffered life-changing injuries at its factory in Newcastle upon Tyne.

  • The problem occurred on a machine used to make chocolate sweets.
  • The company had not properly assessed the risk created by the rollers under the conveyor belt 
  • They had failed to guard the roller, which was a dangerous part.
  • On November 30, 2020 a maintenance technician was investigating a problem on the conveyor belt on this machine.
  • While checking the machine, his sleeve was caught in a roller, which dragged his left arm into the machine, trapping it between the roller and a conveyor belt.
  • It was foreseeable that employees would require access to this area and there was a clear risk of injury to employees coming into contact with this roller. 
  • Nestle had previously been prosecuted following a similar incident at its Halifax factory

The HSE inspector said:
“This incident could easily have been avoided had Nestle properly reviewed the safety measures at its plant and its equipment to ensure that access to dangerous parts was prevented. 
Nestle were aware of this risk following a similar incident at its Halifax plant but failed to take appropriate action.”

Infinity Metals Limited fined £33,685 after machine operator lost parts of four fingers

Infinity Metals Limited, a scrap metal company was fined £33,685 (inc.costs) after a worker lost parts of four fingers while operating poorly maintained machinery.

The circumstances were:

  1. The accident occurred on a crocodile shear on  27 March 2020
  2. The operator of the machine leant over it while it was in motion to clear metal and caught his right hand in the machine. 
  3. This caused him to suffer an amputation to four of his fingers.

The HSE inspector said: 
“The lack of clear roles and responsibilities together with insufficient training and poorly maintained machinery played a significant part in this incident. This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply maintaining the machinery in good working order, ensuring that the correct control measures were present, and ensuring that safe working practices were adhered too.”

Two companies fined a total of £393,000 after a lorry driver was crushed by a load of gates as he unloaded them

LM Bateman & Company Ltd were fined £136,334 (inc.costs) and Joseph Ash Ltd fined £256,834 (inc.costs) after a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) driver suffered fatal chest injuries while unstrapping a load on a trailer.

The circumstances were:

  • Arrangements for planning and restraining loads were inadequate.
  • They did not ensure that the stability of goods was independent of the load straps so that release of the straps did not allow the load to fall from the vehicle.
  • The vehicle had been loaded with the gates at Joseph Ash Ltd.
  • On 20 June 2018 it was driven by Andrew Bayley-Machin, an employee of LM Bateman & Company Ltd. to the LM Bateman site.
  • When releasing the load straps, the gates fell approximately three metres from the flatbed trailer onto Mr Bayley-Machin.
  • These fatally crushed him.

The HSE inspector said: 

“This death would have been prevented had an effective system for managing load restraint been in place at both companies. This is a reminder to all companies of the need to properly assess and apply effective control measures when securing loads to minimise the risks from transporting goods on road vehicles.”

FDS (Cambridge) Ltd fined £27,354 after member of public was crushed on their site

FDS (Cambridge) Ltd fined £27,354 (inc.costs) after member of public was crushed on their site.

The circumstances were:

  • The accident occurred on 30 January 2020 at the company’s site near Ely.
  • There was no method of preventing members of the public being able to get onto the site unchallenged.
  • There was no method of preventing them from parking near an operating machine
  • There were no barriers, etc., or suitable arrangements in place to ensure that the machine had ceased operating whilst people were in the vicinity.
  • An FDS employee was moving and processing a stockpile of concrete and brick rubble using an excavator.
  • A member of the public then came onto the site in a vehicle.
  • He was removing building waste from his trailer.
  • He became trapped against the trailer by the reversing excavator, sustaining multiple fractures to both of their legs.

The HSE inspector said: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the host company to implement safe systems of work, considering the breadth of their operations, including, and especially, those which involved visitors to its site. This risk was further amplified by the company’s failure to undertake a number of simple safety measures including the segregation of vehicles and pedestrians.”

Friday 30 September 2022

ADA Machining Services fined £24,952 after second accident on vertical boring machine

ADA Machining Services Ltd., was been fined £24,952 (inc. costs) after a worker’s hand was partially severed when it was caught in machinery.

The circumstances were:

  • The accident was on a Richards 16ft vertical boring machine'
  • There was inadequate guarding to prevent access to dangerous parts of the machinery
  • There was an inadequate risk assessment for operating the vertical boring machine..
  • It was custom and practice to walk on the rotating machine table during operation of the vertical boring machine.
  • On 24 March 2021 an employee was operating the machine when he stepped on to the rotating table to check the internal boring cut 
  • He slipped and fell on the table.
  • On his third attempt to steady himself after slipping, his hand was drawn into the in-running nip, and he suffered a partially severed hand. 
  • He remains unable to work.
  • ADA Machining Services Ltd., had previously pleaded guilty of breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulation on 12 May 2010 for an entrapment accident on a vertical boring machine.
  • HSE provided guidance on guarding these machines at that time so the company had been aware of the risks for a number of years and should have taken remedial action to prevent a second accident of the same nature happening again.

The HSE inspector said:
“This injury was easily prevented, and the risk should have been identified and eliminated when the company were given advice on guarding this machine by HSE 11 years ago. 
Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.”

Amberset fined after employee was drawn into unguarded machine

Manufacturer of paper and paperboard Amberset Limited was been fined £4,197 (inc.costs) after an employee was injured when they were drawn into a large paper re-winding machine.

The circumstances were:

  • The paper rewinder was not suitably guarded.
  • This had been the case since August 1998. 
  • The rewinder allowed access to dangerous parts of machinery at various places including the front of the rewinder where the employee was drawn by their hand between two exposed rollers.
  • On 19 July 2021 an employee sustained injuries of three broken bones in their shoulder, bruising of the elbow and wrist and superficial damage to their head. 
  • The man then underwent surgery following the incident, where metal plates and pins were fitted in his shoulder and arm.

The HSE inspector said:
“Employers should regularly review the safety measures on their plant and equipment to ensure that access to dangerous parts is prevented. The guidance on safe operation of paper rewinders is well established as is the law and guidance on guarding dangerous parts of machinery.
Employees should be prevented from getting into a position where they can come into contact with dangerous parts of machinery.
It is fortunate that the quick action of the employee’s colleagues in stopping the machine, ensured that they were not pulled further into the machine as their injuries could have been much worse if not fatal.”

Friday 12 August 2022

Laxtons fined £16,500 when employee lost part of his hand due to a defective guard interlock

 Laxtons Limited, a West Yorkshire manufacturing company, was fined £16,509 (inc.costs) for safety breaches after a worker lost part of their hand in a textile machine.
The circumstances were:
  • On 24 March 2021 an employee was operating a textile machine.
  • This machine had a defective interlock which allowed it to run when the guard over a pair of in-running rollers and gears, was opened.
  • When he opened a guard to check on a build-up of fibres, he reached in to remove material, losing part of his hand.