Monday, 16 February 2015

Fixed guard removed which resulted in employee's hand being caught

Treforest Textiles of Pontypridd was fined £6184 (inc. costs) after an employee’s hand was caught in machinery.
The circumstances were:
  • On 16 May 2013, Eiron Atkins, who had operated this equipment for 20 years, was unable to start a rotary textile printer.
  • He took off one of the fixed guards on the side of the printer in an effort to let air circulate and dry the machine.
  • The guards had no devices requiring use of a tool to prevent anyone from removing them.
  • As Mr Atkins crouched down to take a better look, he slipped and his hand was dragged into the belt of the printer. 
  • He lost parts of three fingers on his right hand and was off work for ten weeks. 
  • Since the accident he has suffered extreme sensitivity to cold in the injured hand, along with other difficulties caused by loss of motor function in the affected hand.

The HSE Inspector said 
“This incident could have been entirely prevented had Treforest Textiles adequately guarded the machinery. As a result, Mr Atkins suffered permanent significant injuries to his right hand. Companies must assess the safety of their machinery and ensure that moving parts do not endanger their workers by putting adequate guarding in place.”

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