A worker suffered serious head injuries when a chuck key struck him in the face, a court has heard.
The man, who does not wish to be named, was working at Rotork UK Ltd’s premises in Huthwaite when the incident happened on in January 2014.
He fractured his right eye socket, damaged his teeth and sustained bruising to the brain that was fortunately not life threatening.
Investigating the accident at work, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company, which manufactures electric, pneumatic and hydraulic valve actuators and gearboxes, failed to fit a chuck guard to the lathe.
The chuck key was consequently ejected from the machine at speed, hitting the work in the face.
The man was unable to return to work for 10 months after the incident. He is now unable to carry out physical sports or drive at night as a result of his injuries, Mansfield Magistrates’ Court was told.
Rotork UK Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Section 33(1)(c) and 33(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
It was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,741.12 and a victim surcharge of £120.
HSE Inspector Robert Cox says the incident was an example of how not identifying and installing appropriate guarding for machines can lead to serious accidents in the workplace.
He adds there are well established standards which Rotork UK Ltd failed to achieve.
Manufacturing accidents are unfortunately a frequent occurrence across the UK, due to the dangerous nature of the industry. It is up to employers to ensure employees are kept safe at work at all times.
Contact with moving machinery is one of the most common accidents in the industry.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: August 9, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown