Inexperienced agency worker suffers injuries
15 October 2020
A WIRRAL-based company that manufactures composite hose products has been fined after an inexperienced agency worker was injured when he was pulled into a spinning lathe, sustaining open fractures to his right arm.
Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 20 November 2018, a worker at Novaflex Ltd was operating a lathe at the Bromborough site when the sleeve of his sweatshirt caught between a pitch wheel and rotating mandrel, pulling his arm into the machine. This resulted in an open fracture of the ulna (long bone found in the forearm) and the radial shaft of his right arm, leaving it permanently weak, making day-to-day tasks difficult and stressful. He also suffered severe bruising to his body and skin abrasions.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had not identified the risk of entrapment or the necessary controls required to avoid it. The risk was increased as the lathe had been modified which made operators work closer to the entrapment hazard. The company had failed to effectively prevent access to dangerous parts of the machinery. They also failed to provide a safe system of work for the task and had not provided adequate instruction and training to ensure its workers were competent to operate the machinery.
Novaflex Ltd of Power Road, Bromborough, Wirral pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 and 3 of Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £22,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,021.30.
After the hearing HSE inspector Emily Osborne said, “Those in control of a workplace have a responsibility to identify and devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers.”