A furniture company has been fined after an accident involving a gluing machine left an employee injured.
The injury happened to a man – whose name has not been published – whilst he was working for Hammonds Furniture Ltd in February last year. At the company’s premises in Hinckley, he was working on a production line of furniture panels.
The machine the man was working on sprayed glue onto the furniture panels. It also used a roll of paper to catch the glue that was oversprayed. Whilst he was attempting to change one of these paper rolls, the man’s arm was accidentally pulled into the mechanism.
The man was trapped by his arm for 40 minutes until he could be freed by emergency services. The impact on his arm was immense and he fractured his forearm in three different places. The accident also had a psychological effect, leaving the man unable to stay in his position.
The HSE reports that last week, Hammonds Furniture Ltd were taken to court over the incident. Before the accident, the size of the rolls of paper used had increased. However, the company did not assess what risks this change in size would cause. They also did not train staff in a new method of changing the rolls.
A fine of £7,000 was issued to the firm last week at Leicester Magistrates’ Court.
A man suffered crush injuries to two fingers after he was involved in an accident involving a sausage roll machine.
The unnamed agency worker was working at the Excellent Food Company in Leeds at the time of the accident in March 2012. He had only been employed at the site for eight weeks when the incident happened.
The 26 year old man was emptying the hopper on top of a sausage roll machine, which holds the fillings for the rolls and for pasties. He was emptying the contents of the hopper with a jug, although it was too large to reach down to the very bottom. Instead, he put his hand into the bottom of the hopper to remove the remaining contents but his fingers came into contact with the machine’s hydraulic rams.
The rams crushed two of his fingers and severely damaged them. His third finger was so badly damaged that it had to be stitched back on by medical professionals. Both that finger and his middle finger suffered permanent nerve damage in the accident.
The HSE investigated and found that a safety guard on the machine was not working. They had previously served a notice on the company to improve safety guarding problems back in December 2011.
The case came to court last week, and Excellent Food Company Yorkshire Ltd pleaded guilty to breaking work equipment regulations. A fine of £5,000 was issued to the company by Magistrates.
A rail infrastructure company has been fined after a man injured his hands in two separate accidents at work.
Keith Hawley was working at Balfour Beatty Rail Track Systems Ltd on the occasion of both accidents. The first occurred in May 2009 when he was moving a piece of rail track into a press machine. His right hand was injured when it became accidentally trapped between the rail and a roller.
The second accident happened close to a year later in almost identical circumstances. His left hand was accidentally crushed this time and severely injured. The first accident left him with a broken finger, whilst the second caused such crush damages to his little finger that it had to be partially amputated.
The Health and Safety Executive’s investigation found that the machine did not have adequate guarding. The company was in the process of installing a safety guard system after the issue was highlighted by the first accident. However, the guarding system had not been fitted at the time of the second accident.
The HSE prosecuted Balfour Beatty Rail Track Systems Ltd for breaking health and safety law. A fine of £8,000 was issued at court last week after the firm were found guilty of the charges.
A nurse is seeking compensation of £1.8million after she was injured slipping on spilt food at work.
Michelle Lay was the victim of the accident back in May 2004. She was working as a nursing assistant at an NHS mental health unit in Peterborough at the time.
The accident happened whilst Mrs Lay was unloading a food trolley. Leftover food had spilt onto the floor, causing her to slip and fall.
Mrs Lay suffered serious injuries in the fall. She suffered a back injury that left her in severe pain and resulted in an operation at a later date to fuse part of her cervical spine. She had to leave her position at the unit due to her injuries.
The Peterborough Telegraph reports that the NHS admits liability for Mrs Lay’s back injuries but disputes her claim that the fall also caused her neck damage.
The paper reports that she has made a compensation claim against the NHS for her injuries, and back in 2007, was initially seeking £100,000 compensation. However, her case was updated to include the injuries to her neck, and she is now reported to be seeking £1.8million compensation.
Lawyers for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust argue that her neck problems were started by an accident she had back in 1993, 11 years before the floor slip.
The case is ongoing and a decision will be made at a later date.
A carpentry firm has been fined after a worker fractured his skull in a fall.
The unnamed worker was just 21 years old at the time of the accident in June last year. He was working on the construction of a detached home in Cobham, helping to build a flat roof at the site.
The flat roof had a number of skylight openings on it. The incident occurred when the man accidentally fell through one of these openings. He fell three metres before landing on the ground below.
The fall caused the man to suffer a fractured skull as well as less serious soft tissue injuries.
Because of the seriousness of the accident, the Health and Safety Executive investigated. They found that the company constructing the roof – D&R Carpentry Ltd – had not put any measures in place to prevent such a fall. Such measures could have included safety decking or a soft landing system.
The company were taken to court this week for breaking health and safety regulation. It was heard that they had previously received warnings about fall from height risks during site visits in 2007.
After admitting to breaking the Health and Safety at Work Act, D&R Carpentry Ltd were fined £5,000.
A man has had his hand crushed in an accident at a sweet factory in Northampton.
The male worker – whose name has not been reported – was employed at Tilley’s Sweets factory when the incident happened in June 2011. He was operating a sweet manufacturing machine when it became jammed.
A build up of sweets was causing the jam so the 28 year old put his hand in to remove the blockage. However, when he did this, his glove became caught and his hand was dragged into the machine.
The man suffered serious damage to his right hand in the incident. The injury required him to undergo surgical procedures on the tendons and undergo physiotherapy. The worker was also required to take four months off work because of his injury.
The HSE reports that Tilley’s Sweets have just been prosecuted for breaking work equipment regulations in regards to the accident. A fine of £1,500 was issued this week because of this.
The HSE found after the accident a safety guard could have stopped the incident from happening. They immediately stopped further work taking place on the machine until a guard was fitted.
Compensation totalling £170,000 has been awarded to a scout leader who injured his back on a fireman’s pole at an assault course in Wales.
Scout leader, Robert Wilson, was injured whilst taking part on the Challenge Valley assault course at Clyne Farm Centre in August 2009. He had taken his troop to the centre but was injured when traversing down a 10 foot high fireman’s pole.
He landed at the bottom of the pole on his bottom and fractured a vertebra in his spine. He had to be airlifted to hospital where he underwent surgery.
Wales Online report that he made a claim for compensation against the centre, and a ruling in the case has just been made at court. The court heard how Mr Wilson had expressed reservations about going down the pole due to his weight and lack of fitness.
The judge in the case ruled that the instructor had not given adequate instructions on how to descend the pole safely in wet conditions. The judge rejected counter allegations that Mr Wilson was trying to show off in front of his troop.
It is reported that Mr Wilson will now receive compensation of nearly £170,000 for his injuries. This sum includes money to cover earnings that he lost due to the accident.
A fine has been issued after a man was seriously injured in a fall whilst fixing rollercoaster.
The unnamed 42 year old was working at Legoland in Windsor when the accident happened in June 2011. He was helping to remove two damaged roller-coaster trains from the track of the Dragon Coaster ride at the attraction.
Whilst undertaking this work, he stepped on a walkway that was not secured in position. The section had been removed and then put back into place, but had not been re-secured.
Standing on the unsecured walkway caused the man to fall a total of three metres. He suffered multiple injuries, including breaks to bones in his shoulder and ribs.
The HSE looked into the accident and found that work carried on at the park in exactly the same way the next day despite the serious accident happening. They also found that a risk assessment carried out previously stated that harnesses needed to be used to complete the task.
The operators of Legoland – Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd – have been hit with a fine of £23,200 after admitting to breaking work at height regulations at court this month.
A work accident resulted in a man losing his thumb in a potato sorting machine whilst attempting to clear a blockage.
Brian Griffiths was at work at crisps manufacturer Sirhowy Valley Foods when he suffered the injury in December 2011. At the work premises in Newport, he was working on a potato sorting machine.
When the machine became blocked, Mr Griffiths attempted to clear the blockage whilst the machine was still running. He was wearing gloves whilst he was doing this and the material on them caught on the rollers. This pulled his hand into the machine and his thumb was severed.
The accident was investigated by the HSE who found the official company policy of using a long-handled pole to clear blockages was not always followed due to the need to sort the problem quickly.
The HSE brought a prosecution against Sirhowy Valley Foods for breaking work equipment regulations. They stated that the man’s injury could have been easily avoided had the machine been guarded and a safe system of work put in place to clear blockages. The firm pleaded guilty and were fined £8,000 on Monday.
An agency worker was injured at an engine part manufacturing firm in an accident involving unguarded machinery.
The man was working as a trainee operator on the date of the accident in October 2010. He was on the premises of Mahle Engine Systems UK Ltd in Kilmarnock.
When the incident occurred, he was using a running mill and was trying to free a strip of metal that had become trapped. Whilst he was doing this, his glove became caught in the nip of the machine and his hand was subsequently pulled between two rollers.
The crush from the rollers caused him to suffer two broken fingers. He also required surgery to repair damage to the tissue on three of his digits.
The accident to the worker was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive who found that although the man was aware of the risk of the nip points he thought the danger was not present because the running mill had been turned off. However, the rollers on the machine were powered separately.
At the start of this week, Mahle Engine Systems UK Ltd were fined £8,000 for breaking the Health and Safety at Work Act. It was found that the firm did not do a sufficient risk assessment, provide necessary information for the job, nor fit a guard to prevent access to the rollers.
It is reported that improvements have now been made at the site, including new safety guards on the rolling mills.