Tyneside company fined for disabling guards, yet again
Mullins (Earby) Limited, a Jarrow engineering firm was fined £14,939 (inc. costs) for deliberately compromising the safety guards on machinery for production reasons. The circumstances were:
The company uses computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines, including machining centres, milling machines and drilling machines, all of which have a sliding door which is interlocked to the machine control system.
The company had been served with HSE Improvement Notices regarding ineffective interlocks following an inspection in 2008 and a letter sent in 2012 highlighting similar issues
In February this year, an HSE inspector found the interlocks had been deliberately defeated on three CNC machining centres and a CNC milling machine and the interlock was broken on a CNC drilling machine.
The HSE inspector said: “The deliberate defeating of safety devices in any workplace is not acceptable. This company had received advice on two previous occasions in relation to the guarding standards on CNC machines and had not taken appropriate action. HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement action against companies who continually flout health and safety law and put their employees at risk.”