Friday 21 March 2014

Engineering company fined £12,000 for overridden interlocks

TG Engineering Ltd., of Ferndown was fined £12,369 (inc.costs) after a part was ejected past an open guard where the interlock had been disabled.
The circumstances were:
  • The incident occurred on a CNC lathe.  
  • This has a interlock on the guard which prevents high speed when the guard is open.
  • The interlocks on the guard on this machine and several other machines had been disabled.
  • The operator selected an incorrect speed which meant that the spindle speed was much too high, resulting in the workpiece and clamp being ejected.
  • These hit the operator on the head.

The HSE inspector Matthew Tyler :
“CNC machines are powerful with the potential to cause serious harm, and the employee was extremely fortunate to escape relatively unharmed in this instance. Using the interlocking guards provided with the machine would have prevented access to dangerous parts and reduced the risk of ejection of materials and entanglement. The disabling of interlocks is a common failure in engineering companies and this prosecution should serve as a reminder to the risks involved.”

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