A firm that makes audio equipment for leading recording studios has been fined over safety failings after an employee broke his arm in an industrial accident.
Mark Mann, 42, was attempting to correct a fault in an unguarded machine used to manufacture loudspeaker cones at B&W Group Ltd in Worthing when the incident happened in November 2011.
Risk assessment ‘insufficient’
Worthing Magistrates’ Court heard how Mr Mann, from the town, had his right arm through a gap in the machine when its cooling cycle stopped and the gap closed, fracturing the upper bones and causing nerve damage.
He needed a plate inserted into his arm to help heal the injury and was unable to return to work for seven months. He has since been made redundant.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had done an assessment of the risks involved in using the machine but had only considered burn injuries rather than any danger from the moving parts.
There was no guarding on the machine to prevent employees getting too close to the dangerous part of the equipment while in operation.
B&W Group was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £6,978 in costs after admitting a single breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
Accident was avoidable
Accident Advice Helpline, which deals with work accident cases every day, can help employees receive compensation for their injuries.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Graham Goodenough, 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.
“The HSE provides a wide range of free guidance to help companies carry out risk assessments to ensure equipment is safe for their employees to use.”
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: September 17, 2013
Author: David Brown