Tuesday 10 September 2013

Disabled guard interlock claims another victim

Radford HMY Group Limited, Newcastle, were fined £7,388 (inc. costs) on 10th September 2013, after a worker's hand was badly crushed in a machine on which an interlocked guard had been deliberately disabled.
The circumstances were:
  • The accident occurred on a shelving assembly and welding machine on 10 February 2012.
  • An interlocking device to prevent access to dangerous parts of the machine had been defeated.
  • This allowed workers to easily enter the machine enclosure whilst the machine was still running. 
  • The company failed to ensure that the machinery and its interlocking safety devices were in effective working order.
  • David Potts was attempting to reposition a component that had become jammed on the machine, causing it to stop.
  • Once it was moved back into the correct position, the machine immediately restarted and Mr Potts' right hand became trapped between a moveable robotic arm and a fixed section of the machine's frame.
  • It was crushed for around five minutes before he was freed and taken to hospital for treatment.

The HSE Inspector  said:
"Mr Potts suffered a serious and preventable injury because of the failure by Radford HMY Group Limited to ensure that safety devices were maintained in an effective condition and that suitable procedures were in place to safely enter the machine enclosure. Too many incidents occur during the setting up and the undertaking of maintenance tasks on machinery. They are easily avoided if suitable precautions are taken to prevent access to dangerous moving parts."

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