Firm fined over workers’ lathe injuries

A worker had to have his left arm amputated after being pulled into a lathe while cleaning machinery at a roller-making plant, a court was told.

Just one month later in a separate accident at work, another employee sustained serious injuries after he was drawn into a powered lathe while operating rotating machinery at the same premises, Newport Crown Court heard.

Health and Safety at Work Act breaches

The company, Moonsys Technology Ltd – trading as Recovery Rollers – of Caerleon, Newport, was fined a total of £70,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,710 after admitting two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The court heard 32-year-old Ross Powell-Morris, of Oxwich, had been polishing a metal roller journal when he was drawn into a lathe at the premises on April 18, 2013.

Stephen Harris, 53, of Pontnewydd, meanwhile, suffered trauma to his head and broke his thigh, knees and left wrist on May 22 2013 while he was using a lathe to unwrap cloth from a roller. Since then, the court was told, he has been unable to go back to work.

Risk assessments weren’t carried out

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out investigations into both accidents at work.

It told the court that in Mr Harris’s case the firm had failed to provide an adequate risk assessment or a safe system of work. Limiting the lathe’s speed and making sure that the cloth that had been removed was put in a suitable container could have cut the risk of entanglement during the process, it said.

The HSE said that in Mr Powell-Morris’s case, the CNC lathe he was operating had not been maintained effectively while an emergency safety bar was not operational. It also said interlocks, designed to stop workers accessing dangerous parts of the machinery, were not working.

The court heard Mr Powell-Morris should have been provided with a suitable manual lathe and not been allowed to wear gloves while carrying out the work. It was also told that no documented system of work was in place for polishing parts safely while no risk assessment had been carried out.

Experts at Accident Advice Helpline can help people who have been injured in an accident at work and think they have a case for claiming compensation.

Contact us on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone or, try our quick 30-second claims test online.

Source: HSE

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