Foundry fined £21k after welder loses leg

A foundry has been fined £21,000 after a worker suffered severe injuries.

The welder was working on a 2.5 tonne steel shaft bracket casting when a support gave way, resulting in his leg being crushed.

A prosecution by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) alleged the foundry employer had not provided:

  • a suitable and sufficient risk assessment
  • a safe system of work
  • adequate training and supervision

Bonds Foundry Company Ltd had denied failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees.

However, last month bosses pleaded guilty to a new charge of failing to suitably and sufficiently assess the risks their employees were exposed to when working without appropriate supporting equipment.

Costly mistake

The court heard there were risk assessments in place for the processes carried out at the foundry.

But there was no written risk assessment stating cranes needed to be used at all times when working on shaft bracket castings.

The prosecuting lawyer said ‘This left the potential for gaps. The fact is the [injured man] was unclear about the use of cranes and the responsibility lies with Bonds.’

The defence lawyer claimed it wasn’t a case of a business turning a blind eye to Health & Safety but rather ‘a company that made a mistake not putting something into writing’.

The judge fined Bonds £21,000 for breaking the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

The prosecution was also awarded costs of £23,000.

The HSE stated ‘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.’

It added ‘Had this been done then this worker would not have received life-changing injuries.’

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