Friday, 29 May 2015

Paper products company fined for overridden interlocks.

The Swan Mill Paper Company Ltd was fined £27,000 (inc. costs) for allowing workers to bypass interlocked guards on machinery after one employee trapped his hand.
The circumstances were:
  • The company was aware that engineers would use interlock keys to override the guarding on machines for the purpose of diagnosing faults .
  • On 15 January 2013, one engineer injured his fingers when his hand became trapped after he defeated an interlocked door to get a better look at a wrapping fault.

The fines comprised a fine of £5,000 and costs of £22,000.
The HSE Inspector said:
“Companies should ensure that equipment is suitably guarded at all times. If access is needed to machinery, for whatever reason, then measures should be taken to adapt the machine to ensure its safety either by further physical safeguards, such as additional guarding or operating at reduced speed; ensuring that employees stand back is not acceptable. Latest HSE statistics show that about 15 per cent of reported major injuries involved contact with moving machinery and the risks are well-recognised within the industry. HSE has plenty of free information and guidance to help firms identify problems, find sensible solutions and get things right.

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