Diecaster pays £140k after worker burned by molten metal
Tuesday 23rd August 2016
From the archive: Just so you know, this article is more than 3 years old.
A Presbar employee was removing metal build-up from the diecasting machine on 7 July 2015. This required him to stand in the middle of the machine, between the furnace pot and the front bar.
The machine's robot arm was holding a ladle filled with 400°C molten metal. It moved, trapping the worker. He had a cardiac arrest and sustained fourth degree burns.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had only part guarded the machine, despite having carried out a risk assessment prior to the accident that identified contact with the ladle and entrapment as potential hazards.
Presbar Diecasting pleaded guilty to breaching reg 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, which covers preventing access to dangerous parts of machinery. It was fined £140,000 at Manchester Crown Court and ordered to pay £9,789 in costs.
Researchers found that, on average, an employee had three accidents at work, two of which happened in the previous 12 months. More than one worker in ten (11%) said the employer had failed to carry out a risk assessment before the job started, an oversight that contravened health and safety legislation, the report pointed out.
The 46-year-old Knowsley Engineering Services employee and a colleague were using a forklift truck to manoeuvre the structure out of the company’s premises in Skelmersdale, Lancashire. As it was raised above the supporting trestle it began to twist and swung into the cab of the forklift, striking the worker who sustained a broken arm and serious flesh wounds.
The installation engineer was commissioning a new conveyor belt system for postal operator UK Mail at its site in Coventry on 21 January 2015 when his arm was pulled in. The machinery was not effectively guarded and there were no isolation procedures in place, the Health and Safety Executive found. Sovex was found guilty of breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It was fined £170,000 with £24,000 costs at Warwick Crown Court.
Bristol Crown Court heard that the Concrete Fabrications employee, who wants to remain anonymous, was adjusting tension rods to rectify the misaligned conveyor. The bars were inside the machine’s guard, close to the conveyor belt and rotating tail pulley. Aggregate had built up on the tension rods and he attempted to knock it off with a hammer, but it was caught by the rotating machinery. The worker’s arm was dragged in and severed between the shoulder and elbow.
A panel on the sectional vertical door at ESP’s premises in Malvern, Worcestershire, was broken and the company’s manager asked the worker and his colleague to check it. There was a spare panel in the factory and they decided to replace the faulty one on 5 May 2015. The panel sections of the door were connected by hinges. On the side of each section was a bracket with a roller that ran inside the vertical track in the door frame. The 150 kg door was held in position by two cables that connected the bottom panel to a pair of springs near the ceiling.
Two maintenance workers employed by Essential Supply Products were replacing the bottom of a heavy sectional door inside the company’s Malvern factory on 5 May 2015, Hereford Magistrates’ Court heard. They removed the hinges and brackets and this caused the door to collapse on one of the men, pinning him to a nearby baler. He lost consciousness for eight hours as a result of oxygen deprivation and also sustained broken ribs. He has made a full recovery since the accident.
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