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Examples of enforcement - Machinery

Carpet company prosecuted following machinery accident

An employee operating a carpet-beaming machine became entangled in accessible revolving machinery causing serious injuries. The guarding on the machine was not fixed or interlocked and the trip wire was not in the correct position.

Outcome:

The company pleaded guilty, was fined £1,600 and ordered to pay costs of £1,324.

Food factory prosecuted following a serious crush injury to an employees finger

An employee received a serious crush injury to a finger on their right hand after attempting to clear a blockage in a form, fill and seal machine. Plastic panels within a guard surrounding the sealing head had been missing for a number of weeks prior to the accident.

Outcome:

The company was successfully prosecuted for failure to maintain safe plant and fined £7000. The guards were replaced immediately after the accident.

Machinery accident at a woodworking factory

An experienced operator at a woodworking factory was using a beam panel saw (a large automatic wood sawing machine) to cut sheets of material down to size. From time to time, he needed to remove a build up of scrap around the sawing area. He entered the machine enclosure to do this, via a gate in the guarding. As he reached in, the machine clamp came down and pinned his right hand, while the saw cut off most of his hand. He had forgotten to isolate the machine, but the interlock device on the gate, which would have prevented the accident, had been defeated some considerable time earlier, by persons unknown. There were no effective arrangements for checking that essential guarding was functioning correctly.

Outcome:

The company was successfully prosecuted. The employer pleaded guilty and was fined £2500 plus £1706 in costs.

Updated 2009-02-06