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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