A manufacturing firm has admitted safety failings after a worker suffered a severe hand injury. Gordon Campbell, an employee of Omnitool Ltd, was operating a lathe when the traumatic incident happened. His right hand was caught in the moving parts of the machine. He suffered cuts and tendon damage, which required surgery and forced him to miss ten weeks of work.
Safety device disabled
Ayr Sheriff Court heard how Mr Campbell, an experienced CNC lathe turner, was working on a component for use in the oil and gas industry when a piece of metal cutting came loose inside the machine. While the lathe had interlocking safety doors to prevent access to the moving parts, this safety feature had been disabled and the door was open to allow him to see work progressing on the component. As he reached in with pliers to remove the piece of metal, his right hand came into contact with the rotating part of the lathe.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that the machine was able to operate without the interlocks for around six years, plus one of the interlocks had also been switched off at the control panel. By deliberately disabling the safety device on the lathe, the company jeopardised the safety of its workers.
Omnitool Ltd, of Kyle Road, Irvine Industrial Estate, Irvine, Ayrshire, pleaded guilty to one charge of breaching Regulation 11(1) and (2) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. It was fined a total of £4,700.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: June 9, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown