A Manchester firm which manufactures flight simulator equipment for the aviation industry has been fined for using unsafe machinery.
EDM Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an inspector found guards were missing on equipment during two separate visits to its factory, putting workers’ safety at risk.
Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard that the HSE inspector first visited the site on Thorpe Road in Newton Health in September 2013 after receiving an anonymous complaint. Two Improvement Notices were issued requiring guards to be fitted on two metalworking lathes.
The same inspector returned to the site in June 2014 and noticed that guards were missing on two other machines. This time Prohibition Notices were served to prevent them from being used until guards were fitted.
The HSE investigation found the company did not have a system in place to make sure machines were fitted with guards. Staff had also not received training on how to use guards, and supervision at the factory was poor.
Magistrates heard the firm had identified several missing machine guards in a health and safety document it produced, but failed to take any action.
EDM Ltd of Thorpe Road, Newton Heath was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £2,332 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of employees.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Emily Osborne said:
“EDM Ltd manufactures equipment used to keep the aviation industry safe but it failed to ensure the safety of its own employees.
“The Improvement Notices HSE issued in September 2013 should have acted as a wake-up call to improve machine guards but I found guards were still missing when I revisited the factory nine months later.
“There was simply no point in the company identifying missing guards in a health and safety document if it wasn’t going to act on its findings.”
Information on improving safety in the manufacturing industry is available at www.hse.gov.uk/manufacturing.
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. Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”
3. HSE news releases are available at press.hse.gov.uk.