Hydraulic company sentenced after employee loses sight in one eye

A Clitheroe hydraulic cylinder manufacturer has been fined for serious safety breaches after an employee was badly injured when he was struck in the face during a test procedure.

Lodematic Components Ltd was prosecuted on Friday 2 October 2015 by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an incident at Numbers 1,2 and 3 Works, Primrose Road, Clitheroe, Lancashire on 23 January 2014.

Preston Crown Court heard that the worker was struck in the face by a pressurised hose during a test when a connector catastrophically failed. The worker suffered a broken jaw multiple facial lacerations and total blindness in his right eye.

The worker was assisting the Works Manager and Design Engineer in pressure testing a hydraulic cylinder when the incident occurred. The HSE investigation found that the test zone was not segregated or safeguarded and that the test equipment was not maintained and suitable for the task. Lodematic Components had also failed to carry out a risk assessment.

Lodematic Components of Clitheroe pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £35,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £7,835.52

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Bradley Wigglesworth said “Lodematic (Components) Limited failed to assess the risks or provide a safe system of work for pressure testing hydraulic cylinders.

“The test was carried out without segregating or safeguarding the test zone, and the test connectors were not subject to maintenance or inspection. If these measures had been in place at the time of the incident then the employee’s life changing injuries could have been avoided.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. 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. hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

Article source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2015/hydraulic-company-sentenced-after-employee-loses-sight-in-one-eye/