Firm Fined After Foundry Workers Legs Crushed

Company Fined £10,000 For Safety Failings That Led To Accident


A Stirlingshire company has been fined £10,000 after a worker suffered severe leg injuries in an accident at a foundry.

Specialised Castings, of Denny, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 in relation to the incident in May 2011.

Robert Easton's legs were crushed as he attempted to move a one-tonne mould using looped lifting chains. He sustained two broken legs below the knee and a shattered ankle.

The 56-year-old Falkirk resident required extensive surgery to repair his legs and has received skin and muscle grafts. His recovery has been problematic and he has been left with extensive scarring.

Mr Easton had more than 35 years of experience of working in foundries, but he had been involved in an accident involving casting moulds in June 2010. Although no safety failings were highlighted on this occasion, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advised the company to provide additional training and supervision.

Following the second incident, the regulator discovered that this advice had not been followed, as only one employee had been trained to turn the casting moulds safely, while other employees all had their own methods for performing this dangerous task.

The HSE also found that risk assessments had been carried out by the company, but there was no safe system of work in place for completing this particular job.

After the hearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court, HSE principal inspector Fiona MacNeill said this incident could have been avoided had the firm acted upon recommendations made by the regulator in 2010.

"Following the earlier incident, Mr Easton had himself expressed his concerns to bosses, but rather than provide additional support his employers simply told him this could be a good thing as it would make him more careful," she commented.

"As a result of these failings, Mr Easton suffered serious injuries which have left him permanently scarred and unable to continue to work at the foundry."
The HSE recently revealed that manufacturing facilities account for almost 20 per cent of workplace deaths in the UK, despite making up just ten per cent of the overall workforce.