Thursday, 3 August 2017

West Coast Corrugated fined £84,000 after an employee was struck by a fork lift truck.

West Coast Corrugated Ltd., was fined £84,337 (inc. costs) after an employee was struck by a fork lift truck.
The circumstances were:
  • West Coast Corrugated failed to consider the risk created by vehicles and pedestrians operating in the same area.
  • They failed to implement a traffic management plan to ensure workers and vehicles were adequately segregated. 
  • They also failed to install physical barriers to clearly segregate pedestrians and vehicles.
  • On 13 April 2015 an employee was struck by a reversing clamp truck. 
  • This resulted in him fracturing his pelvis.

The HSE inspector said:
“This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

Murfitts Industries fined £28,000 after work got caught in unisolated baler

Suffolk based Murfitts Industries Limited was fined £28,462 (inc costs)after an employee suffered serious injuries when his hand was got caught in a machine.
The circumstances were:
  • The accident occurred on a baler.
  • The guards were not maintained in a good condition and were not securely fixed to the machine.
  • On 3 February 2016 an employee was trying to clear the blocked baler 
  • The machine was not isolated.
  • His hand and arm got trapped.
  • He suffered a broken arm, loss of skin and muscle damage. His injuries kept him off work for 17 months.

The HSE inspector said:
“Employees of Murfitts Industries Limited were not being adequately supervised to ensure that the safe system of work for clearing blockages was followed. This incident could have been prevented if the worker had received adequate information and instruction.”

Fishgate Limited fined £119,000 after worker falls 6m from forklift truck

Fishgate Limited, a food manufacturing company, was fined £119,032.63 (inc. costs) after a worker fell six metres from the forks of a fork lift truck.
The circumstances were:
  • An employee of Fishgate Limited was instructed on 16 July 2013 to paint guttering and drainpipes on the outside of their factory.
  • The work was not properly planned nor was it adequately supervised.
  • The worker had not received any training or advice on how to correctly carry out the task.
  • He was raised up by a forklift driver in an unsecured tote box to paint the guttering and drainpipes.
  • He fell to the ground from a height of around six metres.
  • This resulted in a dislocated arm, cracked pelvis, broken foot and shattered leg.

The HSE inspector said:
“This work activity should have been properly planned. The injured worker should have been given the correct equipment as well as instruction as to how to carry out the work. The company also failed to adequately supervise the activity which could have prevented the incident.”

Man looses hand in unguarded machine

The Stuffing Plant Ltd, a soft toy filling company was fined £37,486 (inc.costs) after a worker lost a hand in an unguarded machine.
The circumstances were:
  • The accident occurred on a carding machine which had attachments left the discharge chute off to allow it to supply loose fibre to other machines.
  • This meant that a spiked discharge roller was accessible.
  • On 8 March 2016 a worker was attempting to clear a blockage.
  • The machine was still operating which meant that the spike roller was rotating.
  • This grabbed his left hand, drawing him into the machine and severing most of his fingers. 
  • He was airlifted to hospital where surgeons amputated his hand from the wrist due to the seriousness of his injuries.

The HSE inspector said:
“This man’s life changing injuries could have been prevented if a suitable and sufficient planning had been completed and the correct control measures were identified and implemented. The consequences of leaving off the flange and discharge pipework were foreseeable and could have easily been prevented.”

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Warburtons fined over £1.9 after worker was caught in exposed conveyors

Warburtons Ltd was fined £1,921,459 (inc.costs) after a worker was injured when his arm got trapped against a running conveyor belt.
The circumstances were:
  • The accident occurred on two conveyors on a bread line on 4 August 2015.
  • These conveyors had exposed moving parts which could have been guarded.
  • An agency worker was cleaning parts of the line.
  • As he reached into the line he became trapped between the two conveyors.
  • Part of the machine had to be dismantled to release him.
  • This left him with friction burns which required skin grafts.

The HSE inspector said:
“Warburtons failed to guard the machine sufficiently to prevent access to the running conveyors, which in this case could have prevented the injuries. Employers should ensure that all equipment used by agency and their own workers alike are sufficiently guarded and take appropriate measures if any deficiencies are found.”

HMG Paints fined £119,669 after electric floor scrubber ignited solvent fumes

Paint manufacturing company HMG Paints Ltd was fined £119,669.40 (inc.costs) after a worker suffered burns while cleaning the floor of a spray booth.
The circumstances were:
  • The employee was using a highly flammable solvent to clean the floor of a spray booth.
  • He had done several times since the spray booth was installed.
  • After complaints about how difficult it was to remove the dried paint he was allowed to purchase an industrial floor scrubber to carry out the task.
  • The planning for cleaning floors using solvent failed to recognise the hazards and level of risk associated with the use of highly flammable solvents to clean floors. 
  • No DSEAR assessment was carried out with respect to the use of this scrubber with these solvents.
  • The employee who was injured had not been trained to clean floors 
  • He was not adequately supervised when carrying out the cleaning activity.
  • On 18 November 2014 electric motor on the floor scrubber ignited the cloud of flammable vapour that had built up in the spray booth.
  • The employee was seriously injured, receiving 26% burns, and was treated at the specialist burns unit at Wythenshawe Hospital.

The HSE inspector said:
“This is a company that handles large quantities of flammable solvent, the hazards are well known and the company has a duty to control the risks arising from the hazards. It was custom and practice to clean floors using highly flammable solvents applied using a mop and bucket. In this instance the company failed to adequately control the risks and an employee was seriously injured.”

Spectral colours fined after unstable machine toppled

Spectral Colours Limited was fined £25,444 (inc.costs) after a worker was crushed under machinery.
The circumstances were:
  • The accident occurred on a dispersion mixing machine  on 30 April 2014.
  • This machine was not properly fixed to the ground.
  • A worker was cleaning this machine.
  • He sat on one of the clamping arms when it suddenly toppled over and pinned his leg underneath the machine.
  • He suffered a fractured ankle and serious crush injuries to his foot.

The HSE inspector said:
“This case highlights the need for all duty holders to ensure all machinery in their workplaces are properly fixed and maintained to the required safety standard. If Spectral Colours had been more thorough in ensuring that the installation of the machinery was completed properly then this accident wouldn’t have happened.”

SSS comment: The fine was only £3000, with the remaining £22,444 being costs.  Bearing in mind that the Sentencing Guidelines are now in place, this is incredibly low.