The owner of a Shropshire haulage and shot blasting company has been prosecuted for safety failings after an employee suffered extensive injuries in an unguarded machine.
Shrewsbury Crown Court today heard that 40-year-old John Bagley was walking past the large shot blasting machine at Chris C Hazel Haulage’s Station Road site in Woofferton, Shropshire, when the leg of his overalls got caught in the drive mechanism.
As he tried to free himself his hand was drawn in and his right thumb severed in the incident on 4 March 2013.
Mr Bagley, of Tenbury Wells, also fractured his upper arm, broke his lower arm, shattered his wrist and broke most of his fingers. He had to have plates inserted in his hand and required skin grafts. He also required skin grafts to his right thigh, which was badly gouged by the machine. He has not returned to work for the company and is still receiving treatment for the effects of the injuries.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that Mr Hazel did not have a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for the machine, which was used to shot blast solid fuel cooker parts.
Christopher Charles Hazel was fined £8000 with costs of £10,464 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
After the hearing HSE inspector Wayne Owen said: “Christopher Hazel had nothing written down about the machine, nor did he pass on suitable information about it so that those using it would understand the significance of the guard not being there.
“It is imperative that machines such as this are properly guarded to ensure people to not have access to dangerous moving parts. The consequences can be horrific, as a trusted employee found out to his cost.”
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. hse.gov.uk
- Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states: Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work.
- HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk