Entanglement risk was ignored by company
An electromagnetic brake manufacturing company has been fined after a worker suffered serious injuries to her arm and hand when she became entangled in a spindle drilling machine.
On 28 September 2018, Amy Howe, an employee of Stephenson Gobin Limited, was working at the company’s Bishop Auckland site. She was working on an adapted three spindle drill, used to manufacture parts for brake motors, when her gloved hand became entangled in the unguarded rotating spindle.
Amy suffered serious injuries to her arm and hand including multiple fractures and the amputation of a finger. More than a year on from the incident, the HSE reports that the mother of two young children is still unable to return to work. She faces further surgery to both her hand and arm.
The HSE’s investigation found the company had carried out a risk assessment on the drill and had identified that there was a risk of entanglement on the rotating parts. However, it failed to provide guarding to the area and instead relied on employees to keep their hands away from the danger area. In addition, employees were not warned about the increased dangers of entanglement when wearing heavy-duty gloves of the type being worn at the time of the incident.
Stephenson Gobin Limited, South Church Enterprise Park, Bishop Auckland, County Durham pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £5,334 with £1,369.60 costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Shuna Rank: “Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards. In this incident a worker suffered and continues to suffer from serious, life-changing injuries which could have easily been prevented.”
Watch: Top 5 most-read stories in October 2019
SHP Online is the UK's leading website for health and safety professionals. The essential resource for practitioners to keep up to date with the latest news, legislation and CPD.
3 reasons you should sign up:
- Have the best safety resources sent straight to your inbox
- Access top safety job picks daily
- See the latest safety innovations to hit the market
Subscribe to our daily newsletter with news, features, interviews and more.