Engineering firm fined £40k after safety failings

An engineering firm has been fined after an employee suffered a serious hand injury.

The court heard the individual was using a metalworking lathe when his hand became entangled with a rotating part.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found:

  • the lathe’s operators used an unsafe system of work
  • the company failed to identify that employees were working dangerously
  • the lathe had a faulty emergency footbrake and the machine had not been taken out of service despite the fault being reported.

Sentence

Thermal Engineering Ltd pleaded guilty to breaking the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £834.

The HSE said the company failed to identify an unsafe work practice in which employees routinely used their hands to apply emery cloth to a speedily rotating part. Thermal Engineering also failed to take the faulty lathe out of service resulting in the injured worker being unable to immediately stop it.

The HSE stressed “All companies have a duty to ensure employees carry out work in a safe way and the machinery they are using is in good working order”.

Read more about the danger of moving machine parts here.

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