A company’s failure to guard dangerous parts of machinery, which go too fast for safe accessibility, led to an employee being hit and injured by a metal clamp in a work accident, a court has heard.
TG Engineering Ltd machined components and engineering firm was fined £4,000 at Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (March 19).
This followed a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation. It found that the machine’s interlock guard had been disabled when the incident occurred at the plant in Ferndown, Dorset, on September 12, 2012.
The unnamed worker sustained bruising as he was working a Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) lathe.
He had inadvertently entered a speed of 3,520 rpm, which was far higher than meant and too fast for safety. This caused a solid metal workpiece and clamp to escape through the lathe’s open door and strike him in the left side.
Bruised worker was off for a fortnight
He was so badly bruised that he was unable to work for a couple of weeks and was lucky to avoid more serious long-term injury.
The HSE found that had the interlock been working, the speed of the machine would have been limited to 50 rpm, making ejection of the workpiece and clamp improbable.
In addition, it discovered that interlocks had been disabled or taken away on three other machines at the plant.
Prohibition Notices were served for each machine in addition to an Improvement Notice regarding the monitoring of guards. These have all been complied with.
TG Engineering Ltd was also told to pay £8,369 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.