Unsafe machinery lands manufacturer in court  

Workers having body parts slashed, crushed and fractured… doesn’t this bring to mind images of a Victorian workhouse?

Tragically, such injuries are very much part of modern day working. In fact, workers suffer 40,000 such injuries every year including a dozen or so deaths.

And the cause?

Well, Sheffield Magistrates’ Court recently heard in an all too familiar tale of woe how a worker suffered life changing injuries after being drawn into unguarded machinery.

The worker was clearing material from a discharge chute. But a still-rotating spiked roller inside the chute was unguarded and grabbed the worker’s hand. The seriousness of the injury meant surgeons had to amputate it.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the soft toy filling company over the incident.

Stuffing Plant Ltd pleaded guilty to breaking the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act (HSWA) 1974.

It was fined £35,000 with £2,480 costs.

Controls needed

The HSE said the injury could have been prevented if:

  • suitable and sufficient planning had been completed
  • correct control measures were identified and put in place

Common causes of machine injury

Common causes of injury involving machinery include:

  • inadequate training – workers are often asked to operate machinery with little or no training
  • operating machinery without protective gear
  • faulty machinery – machinery that’s not maintained can be just as dangerous as when operated without suitable guarding

All machines pose a certain amount of risk if not maintained, used or guarded properly.

Employer responsibility

The HSWA says controls must be in place and all machines used properly. As an employer you must:

  • carry out machinery risk assessments
  • regularly maintain machinery
  • give priority to necessary repairs
  • make sure all staff handling machines have the necessary training
  • provide employees with relevant protective gear and make sure it’s always fully worn when operating machinery

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998 also make clear:

  • equipment used by employees must be suitable, maintained and inspected
  • workers must have necessary machine and equipment safety training
  • employers should remove risks where possible or control them as far as reasonably practicable

Don’t hesitate to contact Ellis Whittam if you need help managing risks in your work place.

ONLINE TRAINING | IOSH Safety for Executives and Directors

Looking to improve your understanding of health and safety, demonstrate your commitment to employee wellbeing, and protect your business from prosecution? Learn essential skills in effective risk management, including how to create a COVID-secure workplace, with this one-day course for business owners, senior managers and directors.

29 September 2020 | 09:00 – 16:30

Director of Health & Safety Services

Nick Wilson

Health and safety should be a priority for any business but ensuring compliance can often feel like a daunting task. We’re here to help you turn complex regulations into sensible, proportionate controls.

Our live Client satisfaction rating is currently:

Last Updated:

Urgent Issue?

Why not take a look through our library of carefully created Health & Safety documents and templates to see if we have what you need?

Let's start talking on 0345 226 8393 or complete the form below.

More From EW

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Combating coronavirus | FREE advice and resources for employers

Our Coronavirus Advice Hub is open now. Get instant access to regularly updated guidance, sample policies, template risk assessments and more.
 
Click to explore what’s available.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Get your FREE download

We combine the service quality of a law firm with the certainty of fixed-fee services to provide expert, solutions-focused Employment LawHR and Health & Safety support tailored to employers.

Call us on 0345 226 8393.

Hi, how can we help?
Click the button below to chat to an expert.

Is Your Business Based in Scotland?

Go straight to our free sector-specific Risk Assessment Templates for Scottish organisations…
 
Click to explore what’s available.
Error: Embedded data could not be displayed.
Read our Privacy Policy.