Friday, 24 May 2013

Tynedale Roadstone fined £27000 after amputation

A worker suffered horrific injuries and had to have his arm amputated when he fell into dangerous machinery in an asphalt production plant.
The circumstances were:
  • John Wyatt was employed by Tynedale Roadstone Limited and had been carrying out an inspection of the conveyor area
  • Mr Wyatt had gained access to the conveyor area to carry out an inspection, 
  • Safety gates to the plant had been fitted with locks to restrict access these had been disabled
  • He slipped and fell forward and was caught up in the snub pulley roller and the conveyor belt.
The HSE's investigation concluded that:
  • There were no suitable risk assessments, 
  • There were inadequate safe systems of work 
  • There was a lack of information and instruction for employees.
 The HSE inspector  said: "Mr Wyatt’s horrific injuries should not and need not have happened. This incident was easily preventable had Tynedale Roadstone carried out an adequate risk assessment of their equipment and properly supervised their employees. Plant of this type is recognised in the industry as being high risk, which is why they are so heavily guarded with trapped key systems. Safety devices are installed on machinery with dangerous moving parts to protect those who work with them. Companies have a legal duty of care to ensure they are properly fitted and working effectively at all times. Disabling or switching off safety devices puts workers at unnecessary risk and is simply not acceptable. HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement action in cases such as this."

Unguarded or poorly guarded machinery is the cause of many injuries in workplaces across the country. Latest figures revealed eight workers were killed and more than 1,000 were seriously injured as a result of contact with the dangerous moving parts of machines.

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