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June 24, 2010

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Worker pulled into unguarded machine by his overalls

A worker was seriously injured when he became trapped in rotating machinery at a factory in Ashton-under-Lyne.

The 53-year-old man was working for ADA Machining Services Ltd, which produces heavy engineering components, when the incident took place on 2 January 2008. He was operating a 14-foot-high metal-shaping machine, when he moved too close to a rotating shaft and his overalls became entangled in the blades.

He was pulled into the machine, and severed a finger on his right hand. He also suffered 12 broken ribs, a cracked breast bone, and friction burns to the left side of his body. His colleagues switched off the machine but were unable to free him until the emergency services arrived. He has been unable to return to work owing to his injuries.

Following its investigation, the HSE issued an improvement notice in November 2008, which required the company to install guarding around the rotating shaft. HSE inspector David Norton said: “It’s vital that companies take action to protect employees who are required to operate potentially dangerous machinery. Otherwise, workers will continue to be injured in the future.

“The company knew that rotating parts in the machinery were potentially dangerous. If it had installed a guard on the machine, as the law requires, it would have prevented someone being seriously injured.”

ADA Machining Services appeared at Manchester Crown Court on 22 June and pleaded guilty to breaching reg. 11(1) of PUWER. It was fined £25,000 and £6220 in costs.

The court heard that the company had no previous convictions and had complied with the Improvement Notice by installing guards on the machine, and also on several similar machines at the site.

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