Factory workers injured due to unguarded machinery
Jun 20, 2012
A West Yorkshire engineering firm has been fined after a worker was badly injured when he became entangled in a rotating machine tool that caught him by the neck.
Mr Tomas Cisarik, 33, suffered a deep gash 20cms long and 8cms wide on his back, a cracked foot bone and severe friction burns from his neck, down his left arm to his wrist. His clothes were literally ripped from his back.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted P. Craven Engineering Co. Ltd., of Batley, for serious safety failings after investigating the incident at their Heckmondwike factory on 7 September 2011.
Huddersfield Magistrates’ Court was told that Mr Cisarik, from Dewsbury, had pre-programmed one of the firm’s CNC machines for a short warm-up cycle where the machine tool would rotate at around 300rpm.
He returned later and went inside to clean up the metal shavings. As he entered the machine, he felt a pull on his neck and his clothes were ripped from the top half of his body. A colleague heard a loud bang and Mr Cisarik’s screaming and saw he had been pulled into the machine and was trying to climb out of a side door.
The court was told that if the safety interlocks had been working, the machine would have stopped as Mr Cisarik entered the machine. Instead the safety interlocks had been intentionally disabled as the key had been placed into the main switch on an opposite door. This wrongly signalled that the machine door was closed but, in fact, allowed it to run with the doors open giving unguarded access to dangerous machinery.
Following the incident, HSE served four Prohibition Notices on the company preventing further use of the CNC and three other machines because of inadequate guarding of dangerous equipment. Interlock switches on two other CNC machines were found to be broken.
A Glasgow based company was fined £133,000 for failing to rectify unsafe work practices prior to an incident where a worker suffered fatal head injuries on an unguarded lathe. The two incidents highlight the importance of risk assessments and health and safety practice.
Andrew Voice, head of Wilby Risk Management, has commented " both incidents could easily have been avoided. The hazards associated with this type of machinery are understood within the industry and there is clear guidance on the guarding standards that should be followed."
Machine guarding is there for safety reasons, and if it ever gets damaged, it’s important that it gets replaced straight away.
For further information, or for advice regarding managing the risk of dangerous machinery, please contact us on 01422 358 525 or submit an email enquiry form