Icon Fabrications Limited has been fined following an incident where an apprentice employee caught his hand in a drill and sustained serious fractures to his left forearm.
Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard that on 24 November 2017, Luka Coyle was working at Edgefield Industrial Estate, Loanhead, Midlothian, drilling holes in plates using a manual pedestal drill. Whilst making the main hole, in one plate, his gloved hand came into contact with the drill. His arm became entangled in the drill, resulting in injuries, which left him permanently disfigured.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Icon Fabrication Limited had failed to ensure that there was guarding provided on the pillar drill to prevent access to moving parts of the machinery and had failed to write an adequate risk assessment of the use of the drill. The risk assessment failed to mention the guarding requirements and encouraged the wearing of gloves. HSE’s guidance states that gloves should not normally be worn by operators of pillar drills, undertaking this type of drilling work, due to the risk of becoming entangled with moving parts.
Icon Fabrications Limited of Edgefield Industrial Estate, Loanhead, Midlothian pleaded guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974. They were fined £10,000.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Kerry Cringan said: “This injury was easily preventable. Employers should make sure they properly assess risks and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.”