Saint-Gobain Construction Products UK Limited has been fined by the Loughborough Magistrates’ Court after one of its employees suffered severe injuries which resulted in the amputation of his left arm.
The employee was working at the company’s Barrow-Upon-Soar, Leicestershire plant when he was seriously injured by a rock handling Belt on the 13th of August 2017. The Court heard that the accident occurred when two employees were clearing rock that had built up around the belt as it had become very compacted. It was difficult to remove by hand so both employees went to the isolator end of the rock handing belt and removed the local isolation with the guards still removed and then pressed the stop/start button. When they checked the tail-end of the drum they saw it had still not cleared itself of rock and so one of the workers went to the opposite side of the tail end drum to clear the remaining rock which meant the two men could no longer see each other. One worker pressed the stop/start button again, unable to see that his colleague’s arm was too close to the rotating drum and consequently his arm was drawn in.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) held an investigation and found there was ‘no risk assessment or safe system of work in place for clearing rock safely from tail-end drums’.
The company, based in Coventry, pled guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and were fined £400,00 along with £12,945.62 in costs.
Michelle Morrison, an HSE inspector, spoke after the case and said: “This injury could easily have been prevented, had the risk have been identified. Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery”. Source