Company fined after employee’s hand injured in machinery

Harbro Limited has been fined after an employee’s hand became entangled in a ‘Superbruiser’ mixing machine.

Banff Sheriff Court heard that on 2 November 2018, at Harbro’s Rosehall Depot, Turriff, Aberdeenshire, an employee put his right arm through the inspection hatch of the Superbruiser to feel along the edge of the rotating roller for embedded metal. The glove came off his hand which was caught between two rollers. The employee sustained crush injuries to his second, third and fourth fingers. Consequently, his middle finger was partially amputated and he was unable to work for approximately two and a half months.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Harbro Limited had failed to provide fixed or moveable guarding on the inspection hatch of the Superbruiser. This would have significantly reduced the risk of a machine operator reaching into the machine while the rollers were rotating.

Harbro Limited of Markethill Road, Turriff pleaded guilty to breaching The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, Regulations 11(1) and (2) and the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Section 33(1)(c) and was fined a total of £12,000.

After the hearing, HSE inspector, Simon Dunford said: “This injury was easily preventable and the risk should have been identified.

“Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery. The risks of undertaking such work are well known in the industry and it is disappointing that a safe system of work was not followed in this case.”

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