Firm handed fine after unsuitable safety controls

An agency worker suffered serious hand injuries while cleaning a lathe because the safety controls in place for the task were unsuitable.

The court heard the worker was polishing a rotating metal shaft using an emery cloth. A gloved hand became snagged and was dragged toward the shaft.

A Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found suitable and sufficient risk assessments to determine safety controls for polishing hadn’t been carried out.

Workers weren’t given clear guidelines on safe ways of polishing.

Safe system of work duty

Hallamshire Engineering Service Ltd admitted breaking the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

It was fined £5,000 with £2,700 costs for failing to ensure the Health & Safety of non-employees.

The HSE stressed “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working”.

It added “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices”.

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