Wednesday, 7 May 2014

PPE manufacturer failed to check interlocks and was fined £5000

JSP Ltd, of Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire was fined £5000 (inc.costs) after a worker's hand became trapped due to poor guarding.
The circumstances were:
  • The accident occurred on an 8-year old printing machine on 11 January 2013.
  • Dangerous parts were guarded by an interlocked moveable guard
  • There was no system for checking interlocks.
  • This had been identified in a risk assessment, but JSP had taken no action.
  • The interlock on a guard on this machine had failed.
  • An employee accessed the machine to stir paint via this guard. 
  • The machine suddenly moved, striking her hand and trapping it. 
  • She suffered a broken knuckle and serious nerve damage and was unable to work for several months. The nerve damage has resulted in a loss of dexterity in her right hand.

The HSE Inspector said:
“This was a preventable incident. JSP Ltd had carried out a risk assessment in 2007 that identified maintenance checks were not being carried out on the printing machine, but they had failed to follow this through by taking action to manage that risk. As a result, the micro switches on the guards had not been checked at regular intervals. When the interlocked sliding door guard was opened, the micro switch should have cut the power to the dangerous moving parts allowing the operator to access the area safely, but it had failed and one of their employees unfortunately paid the price. Employers need to act on the findings of their own risk assessments and avoid complacency. They can’t afford to assume that machines, which have been running for some time, are going to remain safe without regular checks of safety-critical devices. These checks are vital so the workforce is protected and the business continues to function efficiently.”

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