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November 3, 2021

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Manufacturing firm and director in court after worker injures finger in machinery

A handrail manufacturing company has been fined after an employee’s hand was drawn into a roller and crushed.

An employee of Dealercast Ltd in Hardy Street, Eccles was being trained by company director Chris Ellor to use a rolling machine to bend pieces of steel tube, Manchester Magistrates’ Court was told. While the employee was feeding the tubing between the rollers of the machine, the heavy-duty gloves he was wearing caught between the tubing and one of the rollers, on 27 March 2019. His hand was drawn into the machine injuring his little finger, which later had to be amputated from the second knuckle.

The HSE’s investigation found that the company had not performed a machine specific risk assessment so the risk of entanglement in moving parts had not been highlighted. The employee had no previous experience of working on this type of machine and had not completed training. The company failed to recognise the dangers of using gloves when working with machinery, which was standard practice, as the company had not provided instruction on the correct procedures.

Dealercast Ltd of Barton Hall Industrial Estate, Hardy Street, Eccles, Manchester pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,661.

Director Christopher Ellor of Arncliffe Road, Bury, Greater Manchester pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, by virtue of 37(1) of the Act. He was fined £1,280 and ordered to pay costs of £3,461.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Principal Inspector Peter Lennon said: “Employers should ensure they carry out an assessment of the risks and put in place a safe system of work for the operation of all machinery. Companies should be aware of the responsibility upon company directors to recognise the way in which their employees are working. Employers should also be aware of the risk of entanglement when wearing gloves whilst operating machinery.

“Had the company put in place a clear system of work and prohibited the wearing of gloves when operating this machinery, the incident could have been avoided.”

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