An installer of fire suppression systems and a manufacturer of alcoholic drinks fined after an employee was crushed by machinery

An employee of Fire Protection Group (FPG) was working at Chivas Brothers Limited (CBL) premises when he was crushed and trapped in a Kardex Remstar Shuttle XP500 machine.

Dumbarton Sheriff Court heard that on 22 February 2017, a fire alarm engineer, employed by FPG, was undertaking a visual inspection of fire suppression systems at CBL’s bottling plant in Kilmalid, Dumbarton. Side panels that act as fixed guards preventing access to dangerous moving parts inside of the machines were removed so that the FPG employee could gain access inside to carry out the inspections.  Only part of the machine was isolated from power sources. The FPG employee was crushed and trapped when the extractor device of the machine was activated. He sustained crushing injuries to his right side.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that both FPG and CBL had duties to ensure that there was an appropriate exchange of important health and safety information in advance of, and during, the work activity. They failed to ensure that all the systems were isolated before removing the covers.

Fire Protection Group of 28 Mill Road Industrial Estate, Linlithgow pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Section 2(1), 2(2)(a) and (c) and was fined £50,000.

Chivas Brothers Limited of Kilmalid, Stirling Road, Dumbarton pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 Sections 3(1) and Section 33(1)(a) and was fined £50,000.

After the hearing, HSE inspector, Mac Young, said: “This injury was easily preventable. The risk should have been identified. Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures, such as permits to work when machinery is safely isolated, to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.”

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
  4. For more information on working safely with vehicles at work, please visit: https://www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/