Sunday, 5 July 2015

Worker becomes entangled in lathe after guard interlock was overridden.

Propbrook Engineering Limited, was fined £13,178 (inc. costs) after a worker broke bones in his left arm and both wrists when he was entangled on a lathe.
The circumstances were:
  • The accident occurred on a CNC lathe which was supposed to be protected by an interlocked guard.
  • This had been defeated, allow the machine to run with the guard open.
  • On 14 May 2014, Brendan Hayes was polishing a prop shaft on this machine.
  • He was using emery cloth and became entangled in the rotating prop shaft.

The HSE inspector said:“Mr Hayes was using emery cloth to finish polishing the prop shaft in the computer numerical controlled (CNC) lathe. The machine had an interlocked guard which would have prevented him doing this work in the unsafe manner that ultimately caused his serious injuries, but this had been defeated. Polishing with emery cloth should never take place on CNC lathes. There was a disconnect between the company’s risk assessment and the way tasks were actually carried out on the shop floor. This led to unsafe systems of work, which caused a relatively inexperienced employee to suffer serious injuries. It is only down to luck that Mr Hayes was not more seriously injured – amputations, even fatalities, have occurred in similar incidents.”

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