Employee injured during first day at work...
Feb 21, 2011
A young worker suffered life-changing injuries when his hand became trapped in an industrial press, a court heard.
The 20-year-old was working at a metal-forming company when the incident took place. He was working as a machine operative and was using a power press to punch shapes out of strips of steel, to form components that are sold to the automotive industry.
As he fed a sheet of steel through the machine his left hand got caught in a trapping point between the puncher and a stripper plate. He suffered serious injuries to his hand, which resulted in his middle and ring fingers being amputated at the first joint.
The worker had only received brief training on how to use the machine and there was no guarding around the trapping point.
The HSE inspector stated: “This young man has suffered permanent and debilitating injuries from an incident that should never have happened.
“His employer did not provide adequate guarding for the power press, failed to maintain the machine properly, and failed also to ensure it was thoroughly examined by a competent person.
“Furthermore, the company had not given the worker sufficient information, instruction, training or supervision to operate the power press safely.”
The company was fined £5000 and ordered to pay £2534 in costs at the Magistrates Court. In addition, the company was issued a Prohibition Notice by the HSE, which required the machine to be taken out of use until adequate guards were installed.
An Improvement Notice was also issued stating that the machine needed to be subjected to regular safety inspections once it had returned to service.
This case highlights the need for adequate guarding on machinery along with necessary training. Both of these should have been listed within a suitable risk assessment for the task.
Wilby Risk Management can assist with risk assessments and provide advice on guarding and training requirements. Contact us now for more information on how we can help you. Alternatively, you can ring us on 01422 358525.