Thursday, 10 July 2014

Inadequate guarding causes loss of finger and £20,000 fine

Rillatech Limited, a Derbyshire company which produces packaging for the food processing industry has been fined  £20,353 (inc. costs) on 9 July 2014 because of inadequate guarding.
The circumstances were:
  • Several items of similar equipment producing food casings were in place with inadequate guarding.
  • After an earlier incident, Rillatech had installed further guarding, but this did not fully prevent operators accessing dangerous moving parts of the machine. 
  • On 8 January 2013 Andrew Rawson was operating one of these machines.
  • He reached inside the machine to clear a jam and his fingers came into contact with a clipper. 
  • The index finger on his right hand was severed at the first joint, as well as the tip of his right thumb.

The HSE inspector said:
“It is remarkable that, despite previous similar incidents and risk assessments being carried out, Rillatech Limited still did not install better guarding on their food casing machines. This incident was entirely preventable and it is most unfortunate that it took an employee to suffer such serious injuries to make the company take action to better protect its employees when operating machinery.”

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