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Tyre services company prosecuted for safety failings

1 August 2013

A Somerset tyre services company has been fined after a labourer was injured when his trousers became entangled in an unguarded lathe.

David Humphries, 70, from Gillingham, sustained bruising and minor injuries to his right leg, arm and rear in the incident at Tyre Renewals Ltd in Castle Cary on 18 August 2012. He sadly died shortly after as a result of a heart attack.

Tyre Renewals was today (1 August) prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation identified safety failings.

Yeovil Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Humphries was drilling a hole in a stock bar when his trouser leg became entangled in the rotating feed rod of the lathe.

HSE found that the lathe did not have a guard fitted as standard by the manufacturer to protect users while the machine was in use.

Had the company carried out a full risk assessment regarding the operation of the machine, the need for a guard would have been established. As such, the company failed to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery.

Tyre Renewals Ltd, of Torbay Road, Castle Cary, Somerset, was fined £9,000 and ordered to pay £16,302 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Matt Tyler said:

"This incident could have been prevented had the company fitted a guard to the machine.

"The law clearly states that employers should take steps to protect employees from harm arising from their work. In the case of machinery, moving parts that could cause injury should be guarded or made safe so that people cannot come into contact with them."

Further information and advice about working safely with lathes and other machinery can be found on the HSE website at

Notes to editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.
  2. Section 11(1) of The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 states that "Every employer shall ensure that measures are taken (a) to prevent access to any dangerous part of machinery or to any rotating stock-bar; or (b) to stop the movement of any dangerous part of machinery or rotating stock-bar before any part of a person enters a danger zone.

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