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DEFECTIVE SCREED PUMP GUARD ENDS IN HEFTY FINES

Workman suffered permanent damage to hand caught in rotating blades

Two construction companies have been fined a total of £45,000 after a worker suffered severe injuries when his hand was caught in the rotating blades of a screed pump during cleaning operations in July 2010 at the Wilton Plaza development in Westminster, London.

Labourer Sean Forsythe, 22, was cleaning the screed pump using a water hose when the hose became caught in the rotating blades of the mixer and pulled his hand into the machine. He suffered severe cuts to his right hand, leaving him with permanent damage.

HSE investigators found the screed pump safety grill was not interlocked with the power supply to ensure dangerous parts stopped when the guard was removed for cleaning. Magistrates heard that some months earlier a grille had broken off a pump and was not replaced– despite a written procedure being in place.

Failure to take action not acceptable

HSE prosecuted Kent Commercial Finishings Ltd of Monkhurst House, Sandy Cross, Heathfield, East Sussex – who were the contractor who hired the screed pump. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of work Equipment Regulations 1998, and was fined £3,000.00 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000.00 at an earlier sentencing.

LCS Interiors Ltd of Little Burrow, Welwyn Garden City was responsible for the weekly inspection of the plant and machinery and was also prosecuted. The company was found guilty of breaching Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of work Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £30,000.

Following the hearing, HSE Inspector, Monica Babb said:

“Mr Forsythe has been left with long term damage to his right hand – because a safety grille was not in place, a completely avoidable incident.

It is simply not acceptable the companies involved in this incident failed to take action when a crucial piece of safety equipment broke. Had staff been adequately supervised and if the equipment had been properly maintained, this incident would not have happened.”

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