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.
 
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New Hip Implants Are Becoming a Product Liability

New hip implants appear to have no advantage over traditional implants, suggests a review of the evidence in a report published the British Medical Journal.  And some evidence shows that new implants may be associated with higher rates of revision surgery.

 
While hip replacement is a successful operation, substantial numbers of patients require revision surgery within 10 years to replace the implant because of infection, dislocation, wear, instability, loosening, or other mechanical failures.
 

Traditional hip implants
with metal on polyethylene or ceramic on polyethylene bearing surfaces are associated with low revision rates. Newer alternatives with metal on metal or ceramic on ceramic bearings are available, but their advantage over traditional implants is still not clear.
 

There have also been severe cases of
accumulation of metal ions in tissues of patients with metal on metal hip implants, leading the BMJ to call for better regulation of medical devices. And in 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initiated a comprehensive review of the evidence for approved hip implants.
 

Working with the FDA
, a team of researchers led by Professor Art Sedrakyan set out to compare the safety and effectiveness of hip implants with different bearing surfaces.
 

They analyzed the results
of 18 studies involving 3,139 patients and over 830,000 operations in annual reports of registries.
 
 
They found that functional outcomes (ability to carry out usual daily activities) and general quality of life scores were no different between patients with the new metal on metal or ceramic on ceramic hip implants compared with traditional hip implants.
 
 
While one study reported fewer dislocations associated with metal on metal implants, in the three largest national registries there was evidence of higher rates of implant revision associated with metal on metal implants compared with traditional metal on polyethylene implants.
 
 
One trial reported fewer revisions with ceramic on ceramic compared with metal on polyethylene implants, but data from national registries did not support this finding. 
 
 
The authors conclude: "There is limited evidence regarding comparative effectiveness of various hip implant bearings, and the results do not indicate any advantage for metal on metal or ceramic on ceramic implants compared with traditional bearings." 
 
 
They call for a large randomized trial of bearing surfaces before any claims of benefit are made.

 

Until then, they say "national registries provide important real world data that are critical for the safety and future comparative safety and effectiveness evaluation."

 

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.

Carmel Candy Machine Snags Clothing and Pulls Woman In

We're writing about yet another unguarded machine accident… there are  too many of these around the world. Manufacturers of machinery and employers need to pay close attention to making sure all machines were guarded, employees/supervisors are trained and there were warnings for those few times the guards had to be removed.

Here are the facts we know about this accident.

British chocolate chain Thorntons has been fined after a worker broke her finger while operating a wrapping machine.

According to a report from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Ellen Yardley, 37, from Derbyshire was working at the company’s Somercotes plant on a foil wrapping machine, where chocolates were wrapped in foil and dispensed down a chute into a tray.   

 

During a short break in production, while the machine was still running, Ms Yardley attempted to clean the inside of the output chute which had become covered in caramel. However, the cloth she was using became tangled in rotating parts which gripped the chocolates and her right hand was dragged into the machine. (WCxKit)

Yardley’s middle finger was fractured and cut, and she was off work for 10 weeks following the incident.An investigation by HSE found the machine had guarding installed but it was inadequate.  

 

A subsequent audit of other machines in the factory found safety improvements were necessary to a range of machines, including preventing access to dangerous parts or repairs to existing safeguards.

 

Thorntons PLC, of Thornton Park, Somercotes, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 3(1) (a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.(WCxKit)

Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court fined the company $30,000 (20,000 GBP) and ordered it to pay full costs of $12,000 (7,680 GBP).



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. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
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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.
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

British Plastics Company Fined after Technician Crushed on the Job

An experienced technician at a plastic products factory in Cornwall, Great Britain was killed after he was crushed between the plates on a machine used to make plastic lids.
 
 
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Shaun O' Dwyer, 54, originally from North Yorkshire, but living in Redruth died in the incident on May 30, 2008 at Curver UK Ltd's factory on Cardew Industrial Estate.
 
 
HSE prosecuted Curver UK Ltd., (formerly Contico Europe Ltd.) for failing to provide adequate safety measures.
 
 
Truro Crown Court heard that in preparing the machinery O'Dwyer needed to access the plastic moldings machine's plates. This was normally done via a guard which, when opened, prevented the machine from operating. However in this case one of the conveyors on the machine had been removed and O'Dwyer was able to access the machine through an unguarded gap. Whilst he was inside the machine the press started to operate and the plates closed crushing him at a pressure of over 1,000 tons.
 
 
HSE Inspector Trevor Hay noted, "This tragic incident could have been avoided if the company had observed standard industry guidance from the British Plastics Federation and the British Standards Institution. Users of such machinery should ensure effective safeguards are in place to avoid further deaths or injuries to their workers."(WCxKit)
 
 
Curver UK Ltd of York Gate, London, pleaded guilty to committing a breach of Regulation 11 (1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations under Section 33(1) (c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £160,000 ($245,000) and ordered to pay £32,000 ($49,000) 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. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
 
 
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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.
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

UK Baker Fined After Teen Employee Has Fingers Crushed

A baker from Hampshire, Great Britain has been fined after a teenage worker had his fingers crushed in a machine at a bakery near Ringwood.

 
 
According to a report from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the agency prosecuted Peter Ellis, 58, of Belinda’s Bakery over the incident, which happened in 2010. (WCxKit)
 
 
Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard that a male worker, who does not want to be named, was operating a dough molder at a Belinda’s Bakery in the village of Poulner, Hampshire. The machine has two powered running rollers which drive dough through the machine, to be molded to the correct shape and size.
 
 
While operating the machine, the worker put his right hand in between the rollers. He suffered crush and skin injuries to his fingers and sustained cuts and bruising to the middle and index fingers. The HSE investigation found there was no guarding in place to prevent access to the powered rollers on the machine. The court was told that immediately following the incident, Ellis reinstalled guarding on the dough molder, which had been removed some two years earlier. (WCxKit). Note: in a claim like this, the manufacturer should be put on notice of a potential "failure to guard" claim because the machine should have had "fail safe" guarding.
 
 
Ellis of Picket Hill, Ringwood, Hampshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) (a) of Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. He was fined $800 and ordered to pay costs of $500.

 

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 MANAGEMENT:  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.

OSHA Issues Revised Hazard Alert for Hair Salon Workers

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a revised hazard alert to hair salon owners and workers about potential formaldehyde exposure from working with certain hair smoothing and straightening products.
 
 
The revised alert was prompted by the results of agency investigations, a warning letter issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and factually incorrect information recently sent to salons by a company that manufactures hair products. OSHA's updated alert can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/formaldehyde/hazard_alert.html.
 
 
According to a report from the Department of Labor, during recent investigations, OSHA's air tests showed formaldehyde at hazardous levels in salons using Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Solution and Brasil Cacau Cadiveu, resulting in citations for multiple violations. OSHA found that workers were exposed to formaldehyde in these salons at levels higher than the agency's protective limits. OSHA also cited two manufacturers and two distributors of hair smoothing products for violations that included failing to list formaldehyde on product labels as well as on accompanying hazard warning sheets, known as material safety data sheets, that are provided to the products' users.
 
 
The FDA issued a warning letter to the importer and distributor of Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Solution stating that the product is adulterated and misbranded. Although the solution contains methylene glycol, which can release formaldehyde during the normal conditions of use, the product is labeled "formaldehyde free" or "no formaldehyde" and does not list formaldehyde on the material safety data sheet.
 
 
Following an Aug. 24 letter sent by Brazilian Blowout to salon owners claiming that all OSHA air tests performed on the company's Brazilian Blowout Professional Acai Smoothing Solution yielded results below OSHA's standard for exposure, the agency sent a letter today to the company refuting that assertion.
 
 
"Misleading or inadequate information on hazardous product labels is unacceptable," said OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. "Salon owners and workers have the right to know the risks associated with the chemicals with which they work and how to protect themselves."
 
 
Formaldehyde can irritate the eyes and nose; cause allergic reactions of the skin, eyes and lungs; and is a cancer hazard. The revised hazard alert notifies salons that if they use products that contain or release formaldehyde, they must follow the requirements in OSHA's formaldehyde standard at 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1910.1048. OSHA further requires manufacturers, importers and distributors of products that contain formaldehyde as a gas or in solution, or that can release formaldehyde during use, to include information about formaldehyde and its hazards on product labels and in the material safety data sheets. (WCxKit)
 
 
The alert also now includes details about the information that is required to be listed on the labels and the material safety data sheets of products that contain or could release formaldehyde.
 

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.

ABCs of WORK COMP CONTROL:  www.WCManual.com
 
 

 

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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.

New Zealand Employer Fined after Worker Loses Fingertip on Meat Grinder

New Zealand-based Tegel Foods Ltd. has been fined $41,250 following an accident at its Christchurch factory, where one of their 1,700 employees was injured using an unguarded machine.

 

 

According to information from New Zealand’s Department of Labour, the Christchurch District Court also ordered the company to pay $5,000 in reparation following the accident on 6 October 2010 which resulted in the employee having the top of her finger amputated. (WCxKit)

 

 

The employee was feeding meat through the mincer and her left hand was positioned close to where the meat comes out.  Due to the fitting on the mincer, the rotating blade was exposed while the machine was in operation,” said Department of Labour’s Christchurch Service Manager, Margaret Radford.

 

 

The employee’s left ring finger came into contact with the rotating blade and had to be amputated at the first knuckle. Our investigation found that there were a number of things the company should have done to prevent this employee losing the top of her finger.

 

 

The rotator blade should have been guarded and a hazard review should have been completed with the employee when she began work on the mincer.  A safe operating procedure for operating the mincer was also missing.

 

 

According to Radford, since the accident, Tegel Foods has placed a guard on the mincer and has developed a safe operating procedure and hazard register for this type of machine. It emerged in court that the company has now decommissioned the machine. (WCxKit)

 

Last year, the Department launched a nationwide project to help reduce the number and severity of machinery-related accidents.  In the first year of the project inspectors visited more than 1,400 workplaces to talk with employers and increase their awareness of machine guarding.

Note: this is ALSO a potential product liability claim, and an employer may wish to file a third-party action against the manufacturer of the equipment. Make sure your insurance companies are filing such claims for injuries which occur on equipment manufactuered by another company.


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. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Manage Your Workers Compensation: Reduce Costs 20-50% www.WCManual.comContact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

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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

 

Drug Company Settled Substandard Allegations with $40 Million Fine

 
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) agreed to pay $40.75 million to settle allegations it was manufacturing substandard prescription medications in the early 2000s.
 
 
GSK was alleged to have involved in production of substandard products, made from 2001 through 2005 at its former manufacturing facility in Cidra, Puerto Rico. Those included the antidepressant Paxil CR, the anti-infection ointment Bactroban, the sterile anti-nausea medication Kytril, and the type-two diabetes pill Avandamet.(WCxKit)
 
 
The company did not admit to any wrongdoing or liability of any kind under these states’ consumer protection laws in this settlement. According to information from the company, which has offices in the U.S. and Great Britain, GSK chose to settle the matter to avoid the expense and uncertainty of protracted litigation and trial.
 
 
In 2009, GSK closed the plant because of declining demand for the medicines made there. GSK sold the facility in 2010. Prior to selling the facility, the company reportedly brought the plant into compliance and to a level of performance that satisfied both GSK and the FDA.
 
 
According to the company, GSK’s manufacturing division has a strong track record of quality and compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) requirements. Various regulatory agencies – including the FDA – conduct an average of more than 100 inspections each year at over 80 GSK manufacturing sites located in over 30 countries.(WCxKit)

The FDA has raised no material issues as a result of its other inspections, according to GSK. The fine will be divided among 37 states and the District of Columbia as part of the agreement.

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks 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.


Learn about our Work Comp Book:
www.WCManual.com
 
 
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.

Yale University Student Dies on Unguarded Machinery

Missing required safeguards on a piece of lab machinery led to the death of a Yale University student.  Michelle Dufault, a physics and astronomy major from Massachusetts, who was close to graduating, was working alone in the lab when her hair was snared into a fast-spinning lathe. Police report they got a call at 2:30 a.m. local time, though the time of the accident was not evident.

 
 
The accident exposed problems regarding the school safety policies, federal safety investigators stated in a letter to the school. The lathe, built nearly 50 years ago, lacked an emergency stop button that could shut off power and was missing physical guards to protect the operator, OSHA stated in the letter.
 
 
According to information from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA),the agency did not fine Yale, claiming it lacked jurisdiction due to the fact there was no employer-employee relationship. But in a letter obtained by The Associated Press, OSHA informed school officials that it found a number of problems in the machine shop where Michele Dufault died on April 12. (WCxKit).
 
 
The OSHA letter claims rules for using the equipment, including warnings, were not posted. Yale also should ensure students don’t work alone, establish specific hours of operation and provide a formal training program; the letter went on to state. Yale challenged the letter, claiming the machinery did meet national safety standards.
 
 
Surveys of personal protective equipment were not completed and documented, and safety inspections did not address machine safeguarding, according to the letter. (WCxKit)
 
 
According to Yale officials, the school provided extensive machine tool training and personal protective equipment, and students were repeatedly reminded not to use machinery without someone else in the room. Yale says staff inspected and maintained machines on a regular basis. Yale added that Dufault had undergone a safety course that included instructions to tie back long hair. 

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.

 
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.

Artifical Hips Under Review by FDA for Early Failure Rates

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered all producers of “metal-on-metal” artificial hips to undertake studies tied to high early failure rates and major negative health effects.
 
 
According to several media reports, the producers of “metal-on-metal” hips are required to conduct studies of patients to determine whether the implants are shedding high levels of metallic debris. The FDA sent the request to J&J and 20 other device makers, including Biomet Inc., Stryker Corp. and Zimmer Holdings Inc., asking them to conduct post-market surveillance of the hip replacements. Metal-on-metal hips, in which the ball-and-socket components are made from metals like cobalt and chromium, accounted for about one-third of the 250,000 hip replacement procedures preformed annually in the United States. (WCxKit)
 
 
The British Orthopedic Association, stated that one model of all-metal hip made by a unit of Johnson & Johnson was projected to not work in one-half of the patients who received it within six years after implant. The company no longer sells the ASR device. The British medical group also estimated, based on hospital data that the early failure rate for all-metal hips made by other manufacturers was higher than expected, ranging from 12%  to 15% within five years after implant. Artificial hips are designed to last for 15 years or more.
 
 
According to Dr. Maisel, FDA. official, it was up to each manufacturer to determine how to conduct its studies. Under the agency rule, producers have 30 days to file a proposed plan with the FDA. He also indicated companies would be expected to collect information from patients who received the devices, including taking blood samples to determine the levels of metallic ion in their systems. The companies are also being asked to figure out how often the devices are not working. (WCxKit)
 
 
Along with the DePuy division of Johnson & Johnson, other major producers of hip implants include Zimmer, Stryker, Biomet and Wright Medical.
 

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.


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