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    VERBAL WARNING OF DANGER IS NO DEFENCE

    Hand of female worker entangled in modified metal drilling rig

    An brake manufacturing company has been prosecuted after a worker suffered serious injuries to her arm and hand when she became entangled in a drilling machine on 28th September 2018 in Bishop Auckland.

    Peterlee Magistrates heard that she was working on an adapted three spindle drill when her gloved hand became entangled in the unguarded rotating spindle.

    More than a year on from the incident the mother of two young children is still unable to return to work. She faces further surgery to both her hand and arm.

    Failure to provide guarding

    HSE found the company had carried out a risk assessment and identified that there was a risk of entanglement on the rotating parts.

    However, the company failed to provide guarding to the area and relied on employees to “keep their hands away from the danger area”.

    In addition, employees were not warned about the increased dangers of entanglement when wearing heavy-duty gloves of the type being worn at the time of the incident.

    • Stephenson Gobin Limited – of Bishop Auckland, County Durham pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £5,334 with £1,369.60 in costs.

    Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Shuna Rank:

    “Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.

    In this incident a worker suffered and continues to suffer from serious, life-changing injuries which could have easily been prevented.”

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