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    SPARE POWER INTERLOCK KEY CAUSED DEATH

    Dangerous machinery safety precautions defeated for maintenance tasks

    A pre-cast concrete products manufacturing company has been fined £660,000 after a 43-year-old man was fatally injured when trapped by machinery in October 2016.

    Bath Magistrates heard how maintenance fitter Jeffery Baulf was carrying out maintenance work whilst the machine was not isolated. A conveyor started to move trapping Mr Baulf who suffered fatal injuries.

    The Court heard that the maintenance task was authorised by the supervisor but the required control measures were not checked before work started as the procedure required.

    HSE investigators found the company had not implemented procedures to ensure machinery was isolated before starting maintenance work.

    Special interlock key system defeated

    Access to dangerous moving parts of the machines was generally controlled by enclosures which prevented access to the danger zones.  Access into the enclosures was controlled by a special key system designed to ensure machinery is isolated and safe when people are in the enclosures.

    HSE discovered a spare key allowing access to dangerous machinery without the power isolated. There was insufficient supervision over the isolation of machines and procedures for safe maintenance work were not consistently understood or applied. This suggested deficiencies in instruction and training

    It was common for people to access dangerous areas while machines were running and there were other spare keys which were easily accessible.

    • CPM Group Limited – of Mells Road, Mells, Somerset, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined £660,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,563.57.

    Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Leo Diez said:

    “This tragic incident, which led to the avoidable death of a man, was easily prevented and the risk should have been identified.

    Employers should make sure they apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery. Maintenance work should only be carried out when the piece of plant / equipment is isolated and confirmed safe. There should not be any spare keys to captive key systems.”

    Mr Baulf’s wife, Jayne, said:

    “Losing Jeff in this way was truly shocking and heart breaking for all of us. We think of him every minute of every day. Our lives will never be the same again. Knowing that CPM could have prevented it makes it all the more difficult to bear.”

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