A worker in St Helens was dragged into a rotating driveshaft at the work site at Normans Road, St Helens. Resulting in the wood product manufacturer and a company director to be fined.
Liverpool Magistrates Court heard how, on the 30th June 2016, the agency worker had been working on the production line, when her hair got caught in the rotating drive shaft, further resulting in the loss of her full scalp, ears and one of her thumbs. As well as these horrific injuries she suffered severe mental and physical trauma, undergoing numerous reconstructive operations and has not been able to return to work since.
Following an investigation led by the Health and Safety Executive, it was noted that the company had failed to guard the production line adequately, allowing access to dangerous parts of machinery, including conveyors and drive shafts, by employees and agency workers, during both operation and cleaning.
In April of 20198, a return visit was made, where it was found that the company had changed the layout of the production line, leaving accessible dangerous parts, including an identical shaft to the one which the victim was injured on. An improvement Notice and Prohibition Notice were served to address the risks.
Pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974, Cheshire Mouldings and Woodturning Limited of Unit 7, Normans Road, Sutton, St Helens were fined £466,666 and ordered to pay costs of £7,475.90 as well as a victim surcharge of £170.
As well as this, Paul Carney of Springburn Gardens, Woolston, Warrington, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work ACT 1974, and was fined £10,800, ordered to pay costs of £43,241 and a victim surcharge of £170
Helen Jones, the HSE Principal Inspector said after the hearing: '' This incident, which was easily preventable, has had a devastating impact on the victim involved and those close to her. The company failed to prevent employees accessing dangerous moving parts of machinery. Had they ensured the machine was adequately guarded employees would not have been able to access moving parts and this tragic accident would have been avoided''.