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West Midlands firm in court over dangerous machinery risks

Date:
23 April 2014

A West Midlands company that makes roller shutters has been fined after an employee severed part of his finger in an unguarded machine.

The 36-year-old, of Rowley Regis, was working at the Brierley Hill factory of P&D Group Services Ltd, which trades as IRSP (Insulated Roller Shutter Projects), when the incident happened on 25 September 2013.

Dudley Magistrates’ Court heard today (23 April) that the employee, who has asked not to be named, was operating a rolling mill, which folds flat metal strips into hollow tubes to form the individual parts of the shutter.

When a dent started to appear on the product, he tried to feel which component was causing the problem when his glove got caught and his finger was pulled into the roller.

He suffered severe crush injuries and the top of his finger had to be amputated to below the first knuckle. He was off work for seven weeks but has since returned to the company doing the same job.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the machine had been unguarded for some time.

P&D Group Services Limited, of Old Bush Street, off Level Street, Brierley Hill, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a further £1,414 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector John Glynn said:

“This was not an isolated incident on a single day. Lack of guarding had persisted over a period of time meaning there was an inevitability of someone being injured at some point.

“This employee suffered a shocking and painful injury that was entirely preventable. It was P&D Group’s responsibility to ensure work equipment was safe and that dangerous moving parts were guarded. For some time the company required staff to approach the danger area around the rollers to set up and adjust the machine during production runs yet continuously failed to identify and address the matter of the missing guards.

“Preventing access to dangerous parts of machinery is a legal requirement and there is ample guidance and industry standards to allow dutyholders to achieve compliance with the law.”

Information on machine safety can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/machinery/safety.htm

Notes to editors:

1  The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to prevent 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. www.hse.gov.uk

2. Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 states: “Every employer shall ensure that measures are taken… to prevent access to any dangerous part of machinery or to any rotating stock-bar; or 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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