An insulation manufacturer has been fined £20,000 after an employee injured his arm in an accident at work.
Scott Robertson, then aged 28, was working for Superglass Insulation Ltd at its premises on the Thistle Industrial Estate in Stirling when the incident happened in November 2010.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act in a hearing at Stirling Sheriff Court.
Blockage caused work accident
Mr Robertson, from the city, was working on a production line where fans drew trimmed edges of mineral wool insulation into ducting and recycled them back into the production process.
On the day of the work accident, the wool had become trapped inside the ducting and Mr Robertson tried to dislodge the blockage.
Two days earlier the company had replaced one of the fans and relocated both it and the ducting on the floor next to the trimming mill guide roller. It was this section of ducting beneath the conveyor belt that was blocked.
As Mr Robertson crouched under the machine, his hi-visibility vest became entangled in the conveyor belt and started to pull him head first towards the roller. He put out his right hand to stop his head and body being drawn into the machine, but it became trapped between the conveyor belt and the roller.
Hearing Mr Robertson’s screams, colleagues pressed the emergency button to stop the conveyor belt and his arm was freed. He suffered bruising to his right hand and arm and has since made a full recovery.
Machinery left unguarded
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that Superglass had not carried out any risk assessment on the area of the production line where Mr Robertson was injured.
In addition, adequate guarding had not been put in place.
Date Published: July 23, 2013
Author: David Brown