Company Fined After Worker Breaks Neck

Employee Was Pulled In To Unguarded Machine With Unsafe Modifications


Nuneaton Precisions Ltd has been fined £10,000 after an employee broke his neck when he was drawn in to an unguarded machine.

The 60-year-old machinist was pulled in when his overalls became tangled in a spindle moulder. As well as breaking his neck, the 2013 incident left him with a fractured shoulder and split ear.

He was in hospital for eight days and off work for 10 months, but has since returned to work at the company.

The machine was not safe to operate as a result of modifications to the interlocks. The outer lock had been removed and put in the lock on the other side, fooling the moulder in to thinking the circuit was complete.

Speaking after the sentencing, HSE inspector Elizabeth Hornsby said: "This was an horrific incident that left a man with multiple serious injuries. It was also an incident that could and should have been prevented.

"It is a basic premise of health and safety that workers should not be able to come into contact with dangerous moving parts of machinery. By failing to ensure that the interlocks were maintained, workers were put at risk, and one could have very nearly paid with his life."

Expert Opinion
This is another terrible example in which a worker has suffered serious injuries as result of health and safety failings which should have been avoided.

"We represent a number of people who have suffered significant health problems as a result of problems of this nature and have seen first-hand how it leads to disruption in both their working and personal lives.

"Employers cannot underestimate the importance of meeting their responsibilities when it comes to health and safety and it is vital that lessons are learned from cases of this nature to ensure such problems are never repeated."
Stephen Nye, Partner