Worker Injury From Unprotected Machine Results In Fines

Company Sentenced After Employee Broke Arm When Machine Activated During Repair

07.04.2015

Specialist workplace injury lawyers have called on employers to always ensure they put safety first, after the HSE revealed its investigations into an incident where an employee was injured when his arm became trapped in a machine he was repairing.

Stafford Magistrates' Court found Key Precision Ltd guilty of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and ordered the company to pay fines of £8,000, and an additional £1,180.38 in costs.

An interlocked door had been bypassed with a spare key, tricking the machine into thinking it was safe to operate even as Roger Small, 49, worked on the internal mechanisms. Mr Small, 49, was off work for several months following the incident.

The HSE investigation found that Key Precision Ltd had failed to adequately assess the risks associated with the machine, or sufficiently train staff in its use.

HSE inspector Wayne Owen said: "This incident was borne out of a series of failings from start to finish. Key Precision Ltd did not have safe systems of work or robust monitoring procedures to ensure employees were working safely.

"Causes of incidents such as this can often be attributed to poor and unsafe systems of work. It is imperative that companies give proper consideration to the risks and take action to mitigate against them."

Expert Opinion
All employers have a duty to ensure health and safety is their top priority, yet this is another incident in which a company has failed to put the necessary provisions in place to keep their workers safe. Sadly, this type of incident in which a worker suffers a life-changing injury as a result of basic safety failings, is all too common.

"Businesses cannot ignore their responsibilities when it comes to implementing a safe system of work and ensuring workers are trained to undertake tasks in the best possible manner. Both of these are central to efforts to ensure that employees are able to do their jobs without facing any serious risks."
Stephen Nye, Partner