Firm fined after teenage apprentice loses four fingers on machine


A teenage apprentice lost four fingers on a poorly guarded tube-expanding machine while helping a worker who was not trained or authorised to use it, a court heard today (29 October).

The 18-year-old, who does not want to be named, had been working for only five weeks at engineering firm W P Metals Ltd in Aldridge, near Walsall, when the incident occurred on 16 February this year.

His left hand was trapped by the mechanism of a swager machine, which expands the ends of metal tubes so that other tubes can be inserted inside.

All four fingers were severed clean off. Surgeons successfully reattached two of them, but his little finger and ring finger could not be saved. As well as being left permanently disfigured, he now struggles with everyday tasks, such as dressing himself.

Walsall Magistrates’ Court heard the teenager was serving a three-month placement at W P Metals through LATA, the Logistics Apprenticeship Training Academy.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found he was lining up tubes for a permanent employee who wasn’t trained or authorised to be using the swager. Although the apprentice was aware of how to use the machine, he should have been properly supervised.

The firm also failed to ensure the machine was properly guarded to prevent access to dangerous moving parts. As such, W P Metals Ltd failed to provide a safe system of work.

The company, of Westgate, Aldridge, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £2,740 in costs.

via Firm fined after teenage apprentice loses four fingers on machine.

Balfour Beatty prosecuted for safety failings at Plymouth life centre


Construction giant Balfour Beatty has been fined for safety failings after an unsupported floor deck collapsed during work at the Plymouth Life Centre.

Two workers fell two-and-a-half metres in the incident on 8 July last year, although both escaped with only minor injuries.

Plymouth Magistrates’ Court heard today (29 October) that the workers were pouring concrete onto a deck to form the floor of a weights area at the dry dive centre. However, no temporary support was used and the combined weight of the two men and concrete caused it to give way.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Balfour Beatty Construction Scottish and Southern Limited failed to ensure that sufficient steps were taken to protect workers during the construction work that led to the collapse.

The company did not follow its own temporary works procedure and should have checked that the deck was properly supported before allowing the work to commence.

Balfour Beatty Construction Scottish and Southern Ltd, of 24 Ravelston Terrace, Edinburgh pleaded guilty to a single breach of The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. The company was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,347.

via Balfour Beatty prosecuted for safety failings at Plymouth life centre.

Farmer fined as fertiliser pollutes over 13kms of river


Hundreds of fish died when 13.5kms of river was polluted by liquid fertiliser, Grantham magistrates heard today (Monday 29 October).Robert Grindal, trading as CJ Grindal, was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £6,761 afterpleading guilty to causing the pollution, which happened when a tractor towing a bowser carrying liquid fertiliser tipped over into a ditch.

The ditch at Manor Farm, North Witham, Grantham, joins a tributary of the River Witham before joining the river itself.The court heard that approximately 6,000 litres of fertiliser was lost, causing a pollution with an environmental impact that the Environment Agency categorised as the most serious. 

Mrs Claire Corfield, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, said that the pollution had a devastating effect on the fish population with an estimate of over 700 brown trout killed as well as many smaller fish species.

Unsafe Vessel Lands Owner In Court


At a hearing yesterday at Torquay Magistrates Court, the owner of a former fishing vessel was found guilty of two offences under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.

Perry Britton was convicted of charge brought under s284 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 for allowing the Greitje to jump detention. He was also found guilty of one charge brought under s260 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 for failing to respond to a Direction Order. He was fined £500 plus costs of £250.

The former fishing vessel Grietje had arrived in Brixham Harbour in 2005 but plans to convert her into a houseboat came to nought. Her condition deteriorated and the Greitje was detained as dangerously unsafe by the MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency). Over the following years new owners came and went but nothing was done to rectify the poor condition of the Greitje. Eventually the vessel was seized by the local harbour authorities and offered for sale. The vessel was bought for £1 by 56-year-old Perry Britton of Somerset Road East, Barry in May 2010. He was advised by the MCA that the Greitje was detained and should not sail for Brixham without clearance. Over the ensuing months, many reminders about the detention were given by the MCA. The Agency also attempted to engage with Mr Britton about any plans to repair the vessel. Despite all the warnings, etc, on the 2nd June 2011 the Greitje disappeared from its berth in Brixham. As a result of concerns about the condition of the vessel and its fitness to be at sea, a search operation to locate the Greitje was commenced by the Coastguard. It was eventually located off Cornwall heading west. It eventually arrived in Cardiff on the 7th June 2011 where it was re-detained by the MCA. As a result an investigation into the voyage of Greitje was started. Mr Britton failed to respond to any attempt by the MCA to contact him for his version of events surrounding the voyage between Brixham and Cardiff.

Subsequently Mr Britton was served with a Direction Order issued in accordance with the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 requiring him to produce any documentation relating to any alleged sale of the vessel. However he failed to respond.

When announcing their decision, the Chairman of the Bench stated that the evidence of Mr. Britton was unconvincing and not credible. Mr. Britton was fined £500 plus £250 costs after taking into account his current financial situation.

Mr Carl Graddage, Area Operations Manager (Survey & Inspection) for Bristol Channel area said: HM Coastguard took actions to locate the vessel which had left Brixham heading for Wales, as there was concern for the safety of those onboard due to the condition of the vessel.

Vessels are detained by the MCA as a last resort, when it would be dangerous to allow them to go to sea. By allowing the Greitje to sail Mr Britton placed the lives of those onboard at great risk.

via Newsroom – Press Releases.

Malton Foods Ltd fined for fingers injury on production line


A North Yorkshire food producer has been fined after an employee trapped and crushed three fingers in dangerous unguarded machinery.

Peter Bradbury, 25, was lifting a box of food from the end of a production line at Malton Foods Ltd when his fingers got caught between the conveyor belt and a powered drum roller.

Although his hands were freed in less than a minute, Mr Bradbury, of Riverside View, Malton, suffered severe crush injuries to the end of his left index finger that resulted in long-term nerve damage and limited movement. The ring and middle finger on his right hand were also injured.

The incident, on 23 February this year, was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted Malton Foods Ltd for safety breaches at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court today (26 Oct).

The court was told that the end of the conveyor belt should have been guarded by the company to prevent contact by employees with dangerous moving parts. Malton Foods Ltd had been established a year earlier after a management buy-out of Westlers Ltd at the same site in Amotherby, Malton.

Malton Foods Ltd admitted a single breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 for failing to take effective measures to prevent access to a dangerous part of a machine. The company was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £1,381 in costs.

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – Food firm fined for fingers injury – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

Self-Affirmation Enhances Performance, Makes Us Receptive to Our Mistakes


Life is about failure as much as it is about success. From the mistakes we make at work or school to our blunders in romantic relationships, we are constantly reminded of how we could be better. By focusing on the important qualities that make us who we are – a process called self-affirmation – we preserve our self-worth in the face of our shortcomings.

Self-affirmation has been shown to have powerful effects – research suggests that it can minimize the anxiety, stress, and defensiveness associated with threats to our sense of self while keeping us open to the idea that there is room for improvement. But how does the process of self-affirmation actually work?

New research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, explores the neurophysiological reactions that could explain how self-affirmation helps us deal with threats to our self-integrity.

via Self-Affirmation Enhances Performance, Makes Us Receptive to Our Mistakes – Association for Psychological Science.

Multinational company, Cargill plc fined over worker’s severed fingers


A multinational company has been sentenced after one of its employees lost three fingers in machinery at a factory in Trafford Park.

The 46-year-old from Boothstown in Salford, who has asked not to be named, was trying to clear a blockage in a wheat milling machine when the glove on his left hand was dragged in by a roller on 29 October 2010. He also lost part of his index finger and has required a significant amount of surgery.

His employer, Surrey-based Cargill plc, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found a lockable plastic guard to prevent access to the rollers was rarely, if ever, used.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court in Sale was told today (26 October 2012) that the company’s procedure for sampling flour actually required operators to put their hands under the rollers while they were still rotating.

HSE found that another employee had also suffered injuries in May 2009 when his right hand was drawn into the rollers on the machine at the same Trafford Park Road factory, which produces wheat products for fish food and bakeries.

He managed to pull his hand out but lost three nails and small fragments of bone from his fingers.

The court heard that despite the worker’s injury, Cargill continued to operate the machine without using the lockable plastic guard on the rollers so employees could still see inside.

This remained the case until the October 2010 incident, which led to the company fitting a large transparent sheet over the rollers with a small gap near the top where a scraper can be used to remove blockages.

Cargill plc, which employs 140,000 people in 65 countries around the world, pleaded guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The offences relate to failing to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery and failing to ensure the safety of employees.

The company, of Fairmile Lane in Cobham, Surrey, was fined £35,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £12,484.

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – Global firm fined over worker’s severed fingers – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

Hall Isherwood Ltd fined over unsafe work on school roof


A Blackburn firm has been fined for allowing work to be carried out on a primary school roof without safety measures in place.

An inspector from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was passing Clayton le Woods Primary School, near Chorley, on 31 January this year when he spotted four men working on the roof.

No scaffolding or other safety equipment had been installed, which would have prevented them from being injured in a fall. This was despite one of the men working at the edge of the roof next to a 15 foot drop.

The inspector immediately served a Prohibition Notice ordering the men to come down from the roof until safety measures were put in place. HSE today (26 October 2012) prosecuted Hall Isherwood Ltd, the company responsible for overseeing the work, for two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

South Ribble Magistrates’ Court in Leyland heard that the company had been hired to carry out work at the school on Back Lane in Clayton le Woods, which included painting work and replacing slates on one side of a sloping roof.

The only access to the roof was by using a ladder, which had not been secured to stop it slipping. Once the workers were on the roof, there were no guard rails or scaffolding in place to stop them from falling.

Hall Isherwood Ltd, of Wensley Road in Blackburn, was fined £750 and ordered to pay £1,581 in prosecution costs after admitting both safety offences.

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – Blackburn firm fined over unsafe work on school roof – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

Essex firm fined after contractor fell seven metres


An Essex manufacturing firm has been fined after a contractor suffered multiple fractures to his skull, leg, back and wrist when he fell from an unsecured platform.
The platform from which the worker fell

The platform from which the worker fell

The 34-year-old from Colchester, who does not wish to be named, was replacing a light fitting from a makeshift work platform derived from a metal cage mounted on a wooden pallet. He had been lifted up by a reach truck, but as he started working the cage toppled sideways off the vehicle’s forks and he was thrown seven metres to the ground below.

After the incident on 16 November 2011 at Adhere Industrial Tapes Ltd in Colchester the injured contractor required surgery and spent 10 days in hospital. He remains on crutches and is still undergoing physiotherapy and aqua therapy to help his recovery. He has not worked since the incident leaving his working future in doubt.

Colchester Magistrates’ Court heard today (26 October) that Adhere had failed to ensure that work at height was properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the company after an investigation found that the work platform used to lift the contractor lacked essential safeguards, including restraint harnesses, any means to secure the cage to the forks of the truck and a back guard to prevent entanglement in the truck’s lifting gear. None of the company’s drivers have been trained in lifting persons.

The court was told the company had no risk assessment or safe working procedure in place for this operation, and no procedures in place for the management of contractors.

Adhere Industrial Tapes Ltd, of Unit 1, Whitehall Industrial Estate, Whitehall Road, Colchester, Essex, was fined £12,000 and £4,806 costs after pleading guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 4(2) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

via Essex firm fined after contractor fell seven metres.

Fines for safety consultant and leading Hampshire firm


A Hampshire company and its safety consultant have both been prosecuted for safety failings after two workers were injured in similar incidents just weeks apart.

The two employees each had the ends of fingers sheared off while operating inadequately guarded guillotine machines at Porvair Filtration Group Ltd in Segensworth, Fareham, last year.

The incidents, on 12 April and 26 May 2011, were investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which served a Prohibition Notice stopping work on three guillotines being used by Porvair and also issued two Improvement Notices, one of which required the firm to access competent health and safety advice.

HSE discovered that Porvair’s external safety adviser, John Whiffin, had produced risk assessments for the firm concluding that safety guards on the treadle-operated guillotines were acceptable.

Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard today (26 Oct) that HSE found one guillotine was not guarded at the rear of the machine and the other was not properly guarded at the front or rear. Mr Whiffin had prepared risk assessments for both machines in July 2010. He advised the firm that safety guards were present and acceptable.

Magistrates were told that the ring fingers of the injured workers were ‘shaved to the bone’ by the cutting blades as each was working on separate machines. The two employees have since returned to work but suffer some impairment during day-to-day activities.

Porvair Filtration Group Ltd, of Fareham, pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 for failing to take effective measures to prevent employees coming into contact with dangerous moving machine parts. The company was fined a total of £5,000 and ordered to pay £20,358 in costs.

John Whiffin, of Eastleigh, admitted two charges under the same Regulations in that Porvair’s offences were due in part by his actions or default. He was fined a total of £700 with £4,000 in costs.

via Fines for leading Hampshire firm and consultant.