Jaguar Land Rover fined after employee was dragged into poorly guarded machinery
Jaguar Land Rover Ltd was fined £53,474 (inc. costs) after an employee suffered life-threatening crush injuries when he was dragged into inadequately guarded machinery. The circumstances were:
The incident happened in the paint shop at the company’s site in Solihull .
There was a gap in the perimeter guarding that surrounded the vehicle body lifting equipment.
This gap was to allow fixtures on a chain conveyor to pass.
On 14 June 2013 there were a series of frequent production line stoppages.
A maintenance electrician approached the gap so he could witness the troublesome process in operation.
As he watched he was hit by an empty vehicle body carrier that was travelling through the gap on the conveyor.
He was knocked to the ground and forcibly dragged through the gap into a restricted processing area where he was severely crushed.
He punctured both lungs and broke ten ribs, his breastbone, two bones in his spine and two in his right hand. He had blood clots on his heart and kidneys and was in an induced coma in intensive care for 12 days. He was in hospital for a further seven days but was back at work within 17 weeks.
The gap remained unguarded following the incident until HSE enforcement required that further protective measures be provided.
The area of conveyor was then enclosed with fixed perimeter guards by Jaguar Land Rover and a robust key exchange access system introduced.
The Judge said "Jaguar Land Rover fell far short of a safe and reasonable standard. This was an entirely reasonable, foreseeable situation. The breach was an ongoing failure and an accident waiting to happen.”
The HSE inspector said:
“The incident was entirely preventable. Although the gap was minimally sized to allow empty carriers into the restricted area, it also allowed access to dangerous moving parts within the production process while in itself creating a crush hazard with the moving conveyor. Jaguar Land Rover has extensive safety systems in place and the Lode Lane plant had other facilities with similar processes that are guarded much more effectively. The company should have ensured the same level of protection at this location. It didn’t and as a result a man suffered horrific injuries. It is remarkable that he recovered enough to return to work within 17 weeks. The incident could very easily have ended his life.”