Company fined after worker’s hand crushed in a lathe  

Engineering company, Anderson Hydraulics (Doncaster) Ltd has been fined after a worker suffered compound fractures of his left arm and wrist.

Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard that on 24 May 2018, the 52-year-old was working at a metalworking lathe at a site in Rotherham. He was using a piece of abrasive emery cloth held between his fingers to polish a rotating metal workpiece, when his hand was pulled into the machine.

He suffered multiple compound fractures of his left arm, loss of skin, friction burns and tendon damage. He was hospitalised for a week and has undergone skin grafts and surgery to insert metal plates and bolts.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks from using handheld emery cloth and had failed to implement a safe system of work for polishing. A prohibition notice was issued during the course of the investigation, prohibiting the use of hand-held emery cloth on powered lathes.

Anderson Hydraulics (Doncaster) Ltd of Lidgett Lane Industrial Estate, Thurnscoe, Rotherham pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £4679.54 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Jane Fox said: “A suitable and sufficient risk assessment would have identified the risk of entanglement from using a handheld emery cloth.

“HSE industry guidance stipulates that handheld emery cloths should not be used on rotating machinery.

“This injury could have been easily prevented and the risk should have been identified.”

 

 

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[1]
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: legislation.gov.uk/ [2]
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk[3]
  4. Please see the link below to the page on HSE’s website that is the best guide to doing it the right way: www.hse.gov.uk/engineering/lathes.htm