A packaging company in Hertfordshire has been prosecuted under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 after a worker experienced horrific arm injuries while working for them. Harry Bracewell, 20, suffered a serious break to his right arm when the mailing machine he was using pulled his arm in between the belt of the machine and a roller. The incident led him to suffer crush injuries and a shattered arm that required metal plates and screws to fix the injuries.
This type of incident, where the offending machine was found to have been poorly guarded, is the type of situation in which Accident Advice Helpline may identify negligence on the part of the employer. We have certainly had this happen before in cases where people have come to us for no-obligation advice.
An investigation into the incident found that Ampac Security Products Ltd had not provided a guard for the machine Mr Bracewell had been using. He had been trained on a similar machine used elsewhere in the same factory, but training had not been provided for the machine he was using when the accident happened.
Mr Bracewell was trying to clean a belt on the machine that was still moving. This was not safe, but it was the standard practice for the other similar machine. This was not safe either, but it was regularly done. The accident could well have been prevented if the proper risk assessment had been completed and the health and safety measures had been followed. Instead, he suffered a shattered arm and ended up having flashbacks of what happened. He still takes medication today in order to sleep properly.
The company was fined £10,000, with an additional £2,328 added on in costs by the court after pleading guilty to breaching the act. An inspector for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said afterwards that proper guards were essential on all machinery, regardless of the industry in question.
Accident Advice Helpline have come across many cases such as this, where people have been injured through a lack of training or a lack of proper safety measures or procedures. If you think that you may have been injured in similar circumstances, contact us on 0800 689 0500 today to find out whether a no win no fee* compensation claim could be possible.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: May 12, 2015
Author: David Brown