Friday, 29 May 2015

Welland Medical fined after 2 accidents due to poor guarding

Welland Medical Ltd., a medical equipment manufacturer of Loudwater, Bucks, was fined £14,800 (inc.costs) after two workers were injured due to inadequate guarding on dangerous parts of machinery in separate incidents.
The circumstances were:
  • On 29 June 2011, an employee, attempted to make adjustments to material on a lamination line. 
  • His hand was pulled between two unguarded rollers.
  • He fractured his finger.
  • As a result, HSE served two improvement notices requiring the company to take action to ensure the standards of guarding around potentially dangerous machines were raised to an acceptable level.
  • However, interlocks on machines continued to be overridden, and this was effectively endorsed by the company.
  • On 11 September 2013 another worked tried to clear a blockage on a moving machine.
  • Her hand was trapped and she suffered cuts and bruising.
The HSE inspector said:“Although the injuries sustained to these workers were relatively minor, they could have been much worse. This type of incident is still far too common despite the fact that workers have lost limbs, been disabled and, in the most severe cases, even lost their life because of inadequate or missing guarding. Both incidents were easily avoidable. Guards had been removed on the first occasion and interlocked guards were overridden in the second. Taking guarding away from machines or overriding systems to allow access to dangerous parts should be only carried out with considerable planning and with alternative safe systems of work in place to protect workers. It must not be routine, as was the case here.”    

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