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DEMO FIRM FINED OVER CRUSHING PLANT DEFECTS

Swift action by colleagues saved life of demolition plant workman  

Coleman and Company Ltd has been fined after a worker suffered serious arm injuries when he became trapped in an ‘unguarded’ crushing machine in November 2012.

The 33-year-old plant operator at the site in Warwickshire was injured when his arm was drawn between the rollers and conveyor belt. He suffered fractures and bruising and later required several skin grafts. He has yet to return to work.

Solihull Magistrates heard (30 May) that without the swift reaction of his colleagues, who ran to his aid to stop the machine, the injured worker could have lost his life.

HSE investigators found the incident could have been prevented had the company noticed that the machine’s fixed guards had been either removed or lost, and had taken steps to replace them.

Monitoring system needed to identify missing, defective or inadequate guards

Coleman and Company Ltd of Shady Lane, Great Barr, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and section 11(1) of The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £3,500 and ordered to pay £1,114 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Karl Raw said:

“This was an avoidable incident involving a dangerous piece of equipment which is designed to crush concrete. As such, the consequences of a person coming into contact with moving parts of the machine can be severe.

The worker involved was very fortunate not to have suffered even more serious injuries.

Coleman and Company exposed workers to serious risk by failing to ensure that the workers were protected from dangerous moving parts of the machine by suitable guarding mechanisms. In addition, the company should have had a system of monitoring in place to identify if guards were missing, defective or inadequate.”

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