British Manufacturer Sentenced after Worker Has Hand Crushed

A British manufacturing firm has been sentenced after a worker's hand was crushed in a metal press at a St Helens factory, according to a report from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
 
 
Barry Kelleher lost his little finger and part of the palm on his right hand as a result of the incident at Crane Building Services and Utilities. The 47-year-old from Leigh also needed two skin grafting operations.
 
 
The owner of the factory, Crane Ltd, was prosecuted by HSE after an investigation found the machine could still be operated when a workers hand was underneath the mould. Note:  Physical guards and light curtains generally prevent a workers hand from entering the pinch point area.
 
 
Knowsley Magistrates Court in Huyton was told the machine had been installed at the factory on Delta Road in St Helens in 1967, but had not been upgraded to comply with modern health and safety laws.
 
 
Kelleher does not remember the incident on Jan. 19, 2011, which occurred while he was using the press to mold metal parts, used by the gas industry.
 
 
However, the HSE investigation concluded that the most likely explanation is that he inadvertently pressed the foot pedal on the machine while his hand was under the mould.
 
 
Crane Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 by failing to prevent workers from being able to access the dangerous parts of the machine while it was operating.
 
 
The company, of West Road in Ipswich, was fined $15,530 and ordered to pay $7,080.77 in prosecution costs.
 
 
Kelleher was off work for seven weeks as a result of his injuries, before returning to work initially for one day a week.
 
 
Kelleher was one of more than 3,800 workers who suffered a major injury while at work in the manufacturing industry in Great Britain in 2010/11. Another 27 lost their lives.
 
Note: machines should be designed so that when body parts are in or near a pinch point, the machine will not operate; machines are then said to be "fail safe." If an adjuster sees such an injury, they must make serious inquiry into whether the machine manufacturer should be brought into the situation as a third party or subrogee.
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
Our WORKERS COMP BOOK:  www.WCManual.com
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Australian Employee Crushed to Death in Industrial Blender

A Western Sydney manufacturing company and its director were recently fined a total of $127,400 and ordered to pay WorkCover’s legal costs after a high powered industrial blender was turned on with a man inside it.
 
 
According to a report from the WorkCover Authority, FIP Brakes International (FIP) produces industrial sized brake pads, as well as other products, for trains and other railway vehicles and employs around 60 people mainly based at its facility in Wetherill Park. Its managing director is Chris Katakouzinos. (WCxKit)
 
 
A machine operator was killed when he was cleaning out an industrial blender at FIP’s premises.
The power to the machine had not been isolated and the machine became operational with the worker still inside. He died at the site with extensive crush injuries and lacerations.
 
 
A WorkCover investigation found a significant number of safety failings:
 

1.      The machine should not have been able to operate while its front

       doors were open. 

2.      The safety switches were either broken or malfunctioning. 

3.      The machine’s electrical power supply had not been turned off. 

4.      The machine operator should not have been working alone. 

5.      The machine was not properly maintained. 

6.      The operator was not given proper training.

 
 
FIP and its director were charged with breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000.
 
 
In handing down her finding in the Industrial Court, Justice Backman said the incident was foreseeable and that there were serious deficiencies in the company’s systems. (WCxKit)
 
 
They both pleaded guilty. FIP was fined $117,000 and Mr. Katakouzinos $10,400. The court ordered them to pay WorkCover’s legal costs.
 

 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

WORKERS COMP BOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
 

 

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Better Safety For Table Saws – 10 People PER DAY Lose Fingers in U.S.

Close to 10 individuals lose a finger or mangle a hand in a table saw each day across the country. And for years there has been a technology designed to stop those injuries, leading consumer advocates to demand that federal officials speed up new rules enabling table saws to be safer.
 
 
According to a report from the Associated Press, the technology, which has a sensor that can prohibit the blade from continuing if a finger gets too close, was first developed in the late 1990s. To date, the majority of manufacturers haven't embraced it, in part to disagreements over spending. (WCxKit)
 
 
According to manufacturers, adding the technology would make saws considerably more costly. On the opposing side of the aisle, the technology's inventor wants to be paid for their creation – something they claim the companies making saws aren't willing to do.
 
 
The manufacturers, via a trade association, have brought on high-powered Washington lobbyists – compensating Bracewell & Giuliani $30,000 in the first quarter of the year – to promote their case in front of Congress and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the federal agency charged with overseeing the safety of a countless number of products.
 
 
In 2006, the commission was slated to address table saw safety based on a petition Gass filed three years earlier seeking the agency require that saws have a technology to stop the blade if flesh is sensed. But a change in leadership at CPSC seeking more research on the problem, resulted in a delay.
 
 
To date, several hundred lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers regarding table saw injuries. (WCxKit)
 
 
Meantime, the industry reports it has come up with new plastic guards to shield table saw users from the dangers of a spinning blade. Great, let's see them!
 
Having worked for a manufacturer and a defense law firm, I believe that even though guards do cost money and recalls are expensive, there are some things that just need to be addressed – and machines that cut off fingers and hands fall into that category. This is where we balance the needs of consumers with those of the manufacturer and society as a whole.

I hear criticism about how plaintiff's attorneys cause costs to rise, however, keep in mind that without plaintiff's attorneys and the contingency payment system we have in this country, it would be impossible for those who lose their body parts to address these safety concerns in court. 

Manufacturers have little incentive to make safer products and recall those that are unsafe without the threat of expensive litigation. Without large punitive damage awards, safety measures would not be improved. Or, to put it another way, it is the large punitive damage awards that force manufacturers to design safety into their products and guard those products which are necessary for consumers even with inherent safety concerns where a design flaw cannot be designed out.

These machines need to have proper, effecitive fail safe guards. A fail-safe guard is one where if the guard is removed the machine will stop working (before an injury occurs) — spinning blades must stop immediately upon the guard being removed. Also, slapping a warning label of a product that could have had the defect designed out or guarded, is simply not adequate.

 

Author Rebecca Shafer
, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Professional Development Resource

Learn How to Reduce Workers Comp Costs 20% to 50%"Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%"
Lower your workers compensation expense by using the
guidebook from Advisen and the Workers Comp Resource Center.
Perfect for promotional distribution by brokers and agents!
Learn More

Please don't print this Website

Unnecessary printing not only means unnecessary cost of paper and inks, but also avoidable environmental impact on producing and shipping these supplies. Reducing printing can make a small but a significant impact.

Instead use the PDF download option, provided on the page you tried to print.

Powered by "Unprintable Blog" for Wordpress - www.greencp.de