Installing guards on potentially dangerous machines is inexpensive and generally easy to do, while a failure to so can result in terrible injury as well as hefty fines for the company involved.
A Buckinghamshire factory discovered this at their expense when a worker was involved in an accident that resulted in the loss of three of his fingers. The machine operator was attempting to clear debris from the machine when his hand became trapped and was dragged inside, into plastic and temperatures of more than 200°C.
The loss of the man’s fingers means that he has been unable to resume his job and has had to take on another role.
His employers were issued with an Improvement Notice when the HSE investigators found that the machine did not have guarding that would prevent access to dangerous parts. They were also fined £7,000 and ordered to pay costs of nearly £3,000.
Identifying and handling risk is an important aspect of any company’s health and safety procedures, and a risk assessment carried out by a competent person, who has received the necessary health and safety training, should enable employers to prevent this kind of incident from arising in the first place.