A crushing plant firm has been fined after worker lost his left arm when it was dragged into exposed machinery.
Rotherham Magistrates Court heard how the worker was cleaning down a large piece of machinery at a titanium alloy processing plant in Rotherham when his left arm was dragged into part of part of the unguarded mechanism, the belt and flywheel. One of his colleagues heard him screaming and found him unconscious, initially believing he was dead,
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that workers on the crushing plant were required to clean down the machinery after each batch to ensure the titanium product was not contaminated; this placed them immediately next to unguarded belt and flywheels. Although the company had enclosed all the machinery with a fence including an interlocked gate, which ensured that the machinery was not powered when the gate was open, the belt and the flywheel could still move with considerable power if it was caught or nudged.
The worker was 56 years-old at the time of the incidents on 2 September 2014. He suffered crush injuries to his left upper limb so severe it had to be amputated above the elbow. He had previously worked for the company for 24 years but has not been able to return to work following the incident.
AMG Superalloys UK Ltd of Fullerton Road Rotherham pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £240,000 with £22,7941.55 costs.
HSE inspector Carol Downes said: “This entirely preventable incident resulted in serious life changing injuries to a worker. The risks of unguarded machinery are well-known within the industry. If AMG Superalloys had carried out their legal duty and assessed the risk of this piece of equipment and how the workers cleaned the machine they would have realised the dangers they were exposed too.
“Fitting simple guards would have prevented this workers arm from been dragged in, resulting in his life-changing injuries and the continuous pain he is still suffering.”
Notes to Editors:
- The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
- More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
- HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk