Friday 19 April 2013

Arm crushed in machine at powder coating company

An employee of a powder coatings company had his arm seriously injured in machinery.
The circumstances were:
  • The company was Thermaset Ltd who manufacture and supply powder coating paint from a site in Tamworth. 
  • A hot, thick product is passed through an extruder machine, flattened by rollers and allowed to harden along a conveyor. It is then broken up into small pieces and granulated to a powder.
  • The employee was asked to clear product that had got stuck on the machine’s rollers.
  • A hand-held scraper he was given failed to remove it, so he reached into the machine to grab it with his hands. However, because the product was hot and wet, it stuck to his glove and his arm was dragged into the rollers.
  • The employee suffered severe crush injuries and required intensive physiotherapy.
The HSE found that:
  • Blockages on the extruder machines were a regular occurrence
  • There was no documented safe system of work for operatives to follow when clearing them.
  • Although workers were given a small hand-held scraper to free product from the rollers, different operatives each had a preferred method of clearing a blockage.
  • The employee had started work in the extruder shop six months before the incident happened. 
  • He was placed with an experienced member of staff to shadow and learn the process, but did not receive any formal information, instruction or training.
The HSE prosecuted Thermaset Ltd, who were fined £19,827 (inc. costs) .The HSE inspector said, "It was not unusual for product to get stuck in the rollers and Thermaset Ltd should have had a written procedure in place for dealing with these occurences. There was a basic risk assessment for the extruders, but none of the employees had seen it." 

 Source: HSE  HSE/M/102/13  17 April 2013

No comments:

Post a Comment