Stone masonry company and contractor fined after worker injures arm

A stone masonry company and a contractor have been fined after a worker suffered bone fractures to his arm when a wire cut saw machine fell on to him.

A nine-day trial at Oxford Crown Court heard that, on 9 November 2016, Stoneworld (Oxfordshire) Limited and its contractor were in the process of installing the machine in Great Milton when it fell over, knocking a passing employee to the ground. This caused injuries to his arm, which required surgery.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the machine was left free standing on a concrete plinth, without any secure support such as slings or chains.  The area around the machine had not been cordoned off to prevent people walking in front of it until it was safely secured in place.  There had been no risk assessment carried out by either Stoneworld or by Mr Gerald Harris, who was contracted to move and install the machine. No clear instructions were provided for the removal and installation of the machine.

Stoneworld (Oxfordshire) Limited of Views Farm, Great Milton, Oxfordshire was found guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £20,000.

Mr Gerald Harris trading as G J Harris (Engineering Services) of West Bank Road, Allestree Derby was found guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and sentenced to a community order; he must complete 180 hours of unpaid work within the next 18 months and pay costs of £1,000.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector, Nancy Harman, said: “Installation of machinery should always be well planned between all parties so that the risks associated with this activity are understood and that machines are not left free standing and unsecured.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk