Friday, 21 June 2013

Firms fined after worker loses finger in unguarded machinery

Health & Safety Executive
A tin can factory worker has had his ring finger ripped off by unguarded machinery while feeding metal sheets onto a conveyor.  His employer was found guilty of breaching Regulation 11 (1) for the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.  The Company that supplied the machine was found guilty of breaching Regulation 11 (1) for the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 1992.

HSE Inspector Paul Cartwright said after the hearing that
The incident was entirely avoidable.  Risk assessments by the Company supplying the machine identified the conveyor could cause injury and a warning was included in the operating manual, but they nonetheless supplied the machine without adequate guarding.
His employers failed to identify the risk, despite the practise of hand feeding sheets into the conveyor being well known to operators.
In his opinion involving workers in the risk assessment process is crucial.  Had the employees been consulted it would have been apparent that the hand feeding of sheets onto the conveyor took place.  This would have alerted both parties to the need for adequate guarding.

In an HSE survey of 1000 woodworking machinery accidents, 20% occurred on handfed surfaceplaning machines. Of these, 80% occurred during edging or flatting, rather than the specialised operations such as rebating, moulding or chamfering which accounted for some 10% of the total. Although a bridge guard was provided in most cases, accidents were
mainly caused by the failure to adjust the guard properly.
NBJ London recognise these risks and have our workshop regularly audited by external Health and Safety Advisors.  We ensure that risk assessments are displayed on each machine, and regularly updated.  Inspections are carried out on machinery to maintain guards to them and only personnel who have been competency trained can operate any type of machine.  Although the workshop environment is carefully monitored on a daily basis by our Workshop Manager we consider it beneficial to have a completely independent qualified advisor with a fresh perspective to regularly complete a comprehensive audit.



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