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Bridgend firm fined for safety failings

Date:
2 February 2015

A Bridgend engineering company has been prosecuted after an employee’s hand was crushed in an unguarded hydraulic press.

Bridgend Magistrates’ Court heard today (2 Feb) that Paul Dobbins, 45, from Porth, was using a hydraulic press at TB Davies (UK) Ltd, now trading as TBD (Owen Holland) Ltd, to press bearings into a steel pivot block.

On 12 March 2013, Mr Dobbins was holding a bearing in place with his left hand and as he pushed the foot pedal to lower the press he turned to speak to a colleague next to him. The press came down on his hand, injuring his thumb and pulling the skin from his index finger.

Mr Dobbins required a skin graft on his finger and was unable to return to work for over six months. He has lost movement and feeling in his left hand, leaving him unable to drive a car or take part in a number of social activities. Mr Dobbins has since lost his job and has suffered from emotional and financial stress.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that TB Davies (UK) Ltd failed to ensure that the work was carried out safely and did not have sufficient guarding on the machine to protect employees against crushing injuries up to the point of the incident.

T B Davies (UK) Ltd, of Waterton House, Brocastle Avenue, Bridgend, was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,200 after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Simon Breen said:

“This incident could have been entirely prevented if TB Davies adequately guarded the machinery – as all employers have a duty to. As a result, Mr Dobbins has suffered a painful and avoidable injury.

“Any company using hydraulic presses must ensure that dangerous moving parts do not endanger their workers, or others, by putting adequate guarding in place”.

Information on work equipment and machinery can be found on the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/

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. 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 in accordance with paragraph (2) which are effective (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.”
  3. For further HSE news releases visit www.hse.gov.uk/press

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