Worker’s hand severed by incorrectly installed saw
Monday 5th June 2017
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The victim was operating a foot pedal saw on 21 March 2016 when his hand came into contact with the rotating blade, Birmingham Magistrates' Court was told. He sustained a severed hand a wrist.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found PES, which supplies prefabricated pipework for commercial and industrial applications, had incorrectly installed the machine in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
The failure meant it could be operated from a position that took the operator very close to the saw's moving blade.
PES pleaded guilty to breaching reg 17(2) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment, under whcih employers are required to prevent work equipment operators being exposed to safety risks. It was fined £24,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,087.
HSE principal inspector Geoffrey Brown said: "The company failed to ensure the machinery was set up in a safe manner and as a result the worker suffered life changing injuries.
"To prevent future, similar accidents it is essential that duty holders install and set up machines correctly and in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions."
The magistrates’ court, North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard how on 23 October 2015, a 51-year-old worker was removing leftover steel from a machine called the Koch Straightener at steelmaker Rom’s site. As he was removing the material, his hand became trapped between the rotating rollers inside the machine and was severely crushed, resulting in the loss of the top of his right index finger.
Dundalk Circuit Criminal Court heard that Patrick Lambe was part of a four-man team that had been employed to clear limestone blockages in the preheater at Premier Periclase’s plant in Drogheda, County Louth when the incident occurred on 30 October 2014.
Wayne Thorpe, 44, received a skin graft at Nottingham City Hospital. Nottingham Crown Court was told that on 4 August 2015 Thorpe had been working at the company’s factory in Meadowbank Way, Eastwood, and checking dough as it dropped into tins. As he cleaned away dough that had fallen between the tins, his arm became caught in a 40 mm gap between a running conveyor belt and moulder.
Holt JCB instructed the apprentice to replace the machinery’s air-filled wheels with foam ones on 8 April 2016, Swansea Magistrates’ Court was told. As he did, one of the 400 kg tyres fell on him and broke bones in both his feet. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to risk assess the job, had not trained staff on how to handle tyres, and did not have any wheel handling equipment at the site in Port Talbot, Wales.
The chartered society for worker health protection has identified the sector’s welders as a group at particular risk of developing serious lung conditions from inhaling hazardous fumes, gases and dusts. Welding is one of the top ten causes of work-related cancer and is estimated to cause around 150 deaths a year in the UK, says the BOHS. It also estimates that 40 to 50 welders are hospitalised with pneumonia as a result of breathing metal fume at work each year, with two deaths annually linked to the condition.
The victim sustained a broken arm in the 14 December 2015 incident.The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the company had failed to effectively segregate its pedestrian workers from those who were driving FLTs. Liverpool Magistrates’ Court was told that Encirc had been served with an improvement notice in 2007 for the poor segregation of workplace transport in the yard and warehouse areas. In 2008 an employee was injured in another incident involving an FLT.