A scrapyard that featured in a BBC documentary has been fined over health and safety failings.
The Bolton-based was fined £30,000 after a saw struck an employee’s face. Fortunately for the man, the blade just missed his brain by 3mm.
The Scrappers Ltd, along with Terry Walker, a consultant for the company, denied breaches of health and safety law.
Employee needed 40 stitches
Aaron Sparrow, the employee at the firm’s Waterloo Road site, was working as a ‘spanner man’. His job involved removing batteries, wheels, petrol and catalytic converters from cars.
In September 2014, Mr Sparrow and a colleague used a fork lift truck to raise a vehicle off the ground slightly so they could remove wheels and the battery.
They then used a petrol saw to cut out catalytic converters from the exhaust. They had been doing this for a number of hours, when the saw flicked back off of the exhaust and spun 180 degrees, striking him in the face.
Mr Sparrow was rushed to hospital where he received over 40 stitches and plastic surgery.
Investigation found staff were not trained or supervised properly
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the men had not received any training for their job.
It also says the tool designed for the job was not actually being used. There were no formal supervision arrangements and no safe system of work in place for operating the saw.
Other staff say this system of working on cars was common practice in the company. The company denies this, saying this system was not allowed and not carried out.
The Scrappers Ltd was found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It has been fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £26,687,88.
HSE inspector Mike Lisle said: “It is essential that companies devise, implement and monitor suitable safe systems of work for hazardous activities.
“This incident was entirely avoidable and had a safe system of work been in place then it would likely have been avoided. As it is a young man is scarred for life and could easily have been killed.”
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: October 6, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown