Wednesday 11 September 2013

Lack of interlocked guard causes broken arm and lost job

B&W Group Ltd, a Worthing company that makes audio equipment used by leading recording studios, has been fined £10,978 (inc. costs) after a worker broke an arm in an unguarded machine.
The circumstances were:
  • The accident occurred on a vacuum-forming machine used to manufacture loudspeaker cones.
  • The company had done an assessment of the risks involved in using the machine but had only considered burn injuries.
  • There was no guarding of moving parts on the machine.
  • Mark Mann was attempting to correct a fault on the machine on 1 November 2011.
  • He thought the machine’s fault was being caused by a pipe that had kinked. 
  • He accessed a gap while the machine was in the cooling cycle, during which the vacuum table is raised. 
  • At the end of the cycle the raised table part dropped, trapping Mr Mann’s arm, fracturing the upper bones and causing nerve damage. 
  • He needed a plate inserted to help heal the break and was unable to return to work for seven months. He has since been made redundant.

The HSE Inspector  said:
“This case shows the importance of carrying out a thorough assessment of all the risks involved in machinery. What happened to Mr Mann was easily avoidable and shortly after the incident the company did fit a suitable guard to the machine that would have prevented it happening.” 

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