October 17, 2018

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In Court

Safe systems of work ‘fundamental’ for safety

Symmetry Medical Sheffield Limited, trading as Tecomet, has been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker suffered serious injuries.

On 8 August 2016, the worker was helping to move a hardness testing machine when it fell from the pedestrian pallet truck it was being transported on and struck his left hand.

The HSE’s investigation found that the machine, which was resting on a stand, was lifted with a pedestrian pallet truck by the worker. The worker had not been trained on how to use the truck and the machine stand did not have suitable channels for the forks of the truck. The machine and stand were not secured to the pallet truck and the machine fell and came away from the stand. It toppled towards a wall and struck the workers hand resulting in a full amputated finger and impact damage to a second finger.

Symmetry Medical Sheffield Ltd trading as Tecomet of Beulah Road, Sheffield pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £275,000 with £1,237 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Anuja Mistry-Raval commented: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by implementing suitable control measures and adopting safe working practices.

“The risks of loads falling from lifting equipment when not properly attached or secured in place are well known. Suitable systems of work are fundamental for ensuring workers’ safety.”

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