Friday, 3 October 2014

Company ignored advice from safety expert and accident occurred

Stormguard Ltd, a Macclesfield manufacturer which produces a range of drainage products, was fined £6,377 (inc. costs) after a worker’s hand became entangled around a factory drill.
The circumstances were:

  • The guard on the drill was inadequate
  • It had become common practice for workers to wear gloves while using the drill, despite the risk of gloves becoming entangled being well known in the manufacturing industry.
  • Stormguard’s own health and safety officer had identified inadequate guarding on the drill in a written report over a year before the incident. 
  • He also raised the issue of workers wearing gloves while using drills. 
  • However, no action was taken to tackle these issues.
  • On 16 October 2012, a worker was using the drill to produce metal sills.
  • The glove on his right hand became caught, pulling his hand around the rotating drill bit.
  • The third finger on his right hand was dislocated and fractured, and his little finger was also fractured.

The HSE Inspector said:
“There was simply no need for this incident to have happened, especially as Stormguard’s own health and safety officer had raised the issue with the company. “The employee was lucky to escape with relatively minor injuries, but they could easily have been much worse. Workers at the factory were regularly using the drill without an adequate guard and while wearing gloves so there was a high risk that someone would be injured. “There’s absolutely no point in manufacturers hiring health and safety officers if they’re not going to listen to their advice. Risk assessments should be acted on – not put on a shelf to gather dust.”

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