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Press interlock was intentionally defeated

A worker for a heating equipment supplier sustained injuries to his fingers while setting up a hydraulic press.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation into the 12 March 2015 incident and found it was common practice for workers to defeat the machine’s safety interlock while it was being set up.

The employee who was preparing the press inadvertently activated the press and it crushed the tips of his index finger and thumb.

The HSE also found Walraven’s risk assessment for the work to be inadequate and irregularly reviewed.  

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, and Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations at Banbury Magistrates’ Court. It was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,353.60.

“It [the risk assessment] should identify the risks associated with all aspects of a machine’s operation including setting and maintenance. Had this been the case then the defeated interlock would have been identified and suitable control measures put in place,” said Leon Donovan, an inspector for the HSE.


Keeley Downey was the former assistant editor of IOSH Magazine. Previously she was editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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