Thursday 15 August 2013

Machinery supplier fined following accident on new machine

A machinery manufacturer  was fined £4330 for inadequate guarding on a new machine, following an accident.
The circumstances were:
  • Line Equipment Ltd., supplied 4 form, fill and seal machines at a food manufacturer's plant in Halstead, Essex.
  • Moving parts in these machines included heated jaws and a knife mechanism
  • Gaps in guards were large enough to allow access to moving parts. 
  • On 8 June 2012, a worker, Benjamin Tracey, had encountered problems with plastic bags sticking to the heated jaws.
  • He put his arm in to attempt to pull the bags free and when this didn't work he stopped the machine, which halted the cycle but did not completely deactivate the machine.
  • The heated jaws closed on his left index finger and a knife mechanism fired into his finger, badly crushing and slicing the bone and soft tissue.

Line Equipment Ltd,  was prosecuted on 14th August 2013 for a breach of the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008.
The HSE Inspector said:
"This was a common, entirely foreseeable and preventable incident on this type of machine. The safety standards for these types of machines are widely understood and their importance in safeguarding what can otherwise be a hazardous form of machinery was well known to Line Equipment Ltd. Had the company met its duties, it would not have been possible for the employee to have accessed moving parts of machinery in this way and seriously injure himself as a result."

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