Factory and safety consultant fined for machine-guarding failures
A Hampshire company and its safety consultant have been prosecuted after two workers severed fingers inside a machine in two separate incidents.
Both incidents took place at Porvair Filtration Group Ltd’s factory in Fareham, Hampshire. On 12 April last year, a worker was operating a guillotine machine when the unguarded blades severed the ends of his fingers. Six weeks later on 26 May, another worker was positioned at the rear of a similar machine when the tips of his fingers were severed.
The HSE investigated the incidents and found one of the guillotines was not adequately guarded at the front, and the other machine didn’t have guards at the rear.
The investigation also discovered that Porvair’s external safety advisor, John Whiffin, had produced risk assessments in July 2010, which stated the machines’ guards were present and acceptable.
HSE inspector Joanna Woodcock served Porvair Filtration Group with a Prohibition Notice, which required the firm to stop working on three guillotine machines until adequate guards were installed. She also issued an Improvement Notice instructing the company to acquire competent health and safety advice.
“Advice on writing risk assessments is readily available and this process should have identified the inadequacy of the machines’ guarding. Had Mr Whiffin been familiar with these machines and correctly identified the risks, the incident could have been avoided,” said inspector Woodcock.€
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