A Loughborough, Great Britain employer was recently fined for safety breaches after an employee’s ankle was crushed by a woodworking machine.
The 46-year-old man, who has asked not to be named, was trying to flush lubricant through the grease unit on the machine at Advance Display Ltd when the incident happened on Jan. 28, 2013.
He had one foot on the floor and the other on a base plate of the computer-controlled machine, which puts patterns in wood placed on a large moving bed.
He asked a colleague to turn the machine on and as it had already been programmed, it immediately moved forward, crushing his foot between the base plate and the moving bed.
The man, from Whitwick, near Coalville, had to have two operations and was off work for five months. He has since returned to the company and is able to walk unaided but will never regain full movement in his ankle and foot.
Investigation Finds Broken Equipment
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that for certain tasks on the machine, the operators used to have a mobile remote-controlled pendant in their hand to control the machine. However, the pendant had been broken for more than three and a half years and Advance Display Ltd had never replaced or repaired it.
When the employee asked his colleague to switch on the machine, the latter lost sight of the former so could not see he was not clear of the machine.
Advance Display Ltd of Falcon Business Park, Meadow Lane, Loughborough, was fined more than $24,000 and ordered to pay costs of more than$4,300 after admitting breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Every year around a dozen people are killed and 40,000 injured by machinery.
Free advice for employers of managing the risks is available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/
Author Kori Shafer-Stack, Editor, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in post-injury response procedures and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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