A global materials company has been fined after a maintenance engineer’s hand was crushed at its West Midlands factory.
Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Friday (20 March) heard that the 40-year-old worker from Stourbridge was removing chocks from the bed of a plate saw when the incident happened at ThyssenKrupp (Materials) UK Ltd’s site in Tyseley on 9 July 2014.
The chocks had been used to prop a pressure beam while maintenance work was carried out but as soon as the chocks were removed, the beam fell on to the employee’s hand. He was off work for more than three months but has since returned to the company.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the company, a subsidiary of the ThyssenKrupp group, had failed to provide workers with adequate information, instruction and training or appropriately manage the site maintenance programme.
ThyssenKrupp (Materials) UK Ltd, of Cox’s Lane, Cradley Heath, West Midlands, was fined £10,000 with £940.50 costs after admitting a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Cooper said:
“ThyssenKrupp Materials should have spent time working out a safe working methods for all maintenance tasks, especially those which were routine. There were no written risk assessments or safe systems of work in place.
“The company should also have made sure that the engineers were given the necessary training on the machines and the information they needed to operate them. Instead, they were given nothing and expected to learn as they went along.
“Since the incident the firm has brought in service engineers to do the most intricate maintenance work and arranged for those engineers to give the employees training on the machines. Had they done this before, a worker could have been spared a painful injury.”
An approved code of practice and guidance aimed at those with responsibility for work equipment can be downloaded free from the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l22.htm
Notes to Editors
- The Health and Safety Executive 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
- Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.