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Sheffield firm owner in court for repeat safety breach

Date:
9 January 2015

A Sheffield businessman has been fined after he failed to heed warnings from safety experts to properly guard dangerous machinery.

Peter Herring, who trades as A W Parish in Princess Street, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an inspector carried out a routine visit to the company on 11 September 2013.

Sheffield Magistrates heard (9 Jan) that the inspector noted during the visit that a radial arm drill was unguarded. A telescopic guard was available for the machine but could not be fitted as it was damaged.

HSE served a Prohibition Notice on Mr Herring to prevent use of the drill until it was properly guarded. The court was told that Mr Herring had been served with a similar enforcement notice by HSE in 2003 and a further letter needed to be sent in 2009 when the same radial arm drill was found unguarded.

HSE prosecuted the company, which makes fire escapes, balustrades and other metalwork, for failing to ensure that effective guarding was in place to prevent operators from getting too close to the rotating parts of the machine.

Peter Herring, trading as A W Parish, of The Level Works, Princess Street, Sheffield, was fined £500 and ordered to pay £585 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations.

After the case, HSE inspector Andrew Gale said:

“Fortunately, no one at the factory was injured but this was down to chance rather than any good management. Any one of Mr Herring’s employees could have been seriously injured as a result of operating an unguarded radial arm drill

“The risks associated with these particular drills have been well-known for decades. Mr Herring would have been well aware of those risks but he still chose to ignore them.

“While he had complied with the prohibition notices within the specified timeframe, he neglected safety again and again, and disregarded any lesson he should have learned from previous enforcement action on the exact same machine.

“Employers of whatever size must ensure that effective measures are taken to prevent access to dangerous moving parts of machinery.”

For information and advice on safe working with machinery visit http://www.hse.gov.uk

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…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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