North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard how, on 28th February 2020, a maintenance engineer was polishing a metal shaft as it rotated in a manual lathe. He was wearing gloves and using an emery cloth.
The emery cloth became tangled around the rotating shaft and pulled his hand into the machine.
He subsequently required surgical amputation below the elbow.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that there were failures in the arrangements and controls for the task performed. The risk assessment in place was inadequate as it did not properly assess or address entanglement risk associated with the direct manual application of emery cloth to the workpiece or the use of gloves. There was inadequate training, instructions and supervision to ensure that the risks from entanglement with gloves or the emery cloth were prevented.
Ibstock Brick Ltd of Audley Road, Newcastle under Lyme pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety Act 1974. It was fined £530,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,548.20
HSE inspector Marie-Louise Riley-Roberts said after the hearing: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to assess risk and devise safe methods of working in which their employees should then be instructed and trained. If Ibstock Brick Ltd had, had effective managerial arrangements in place for the task undertaken and ensured their employees were following a safe system of work, based upon risk assessment, safe systems of work, supervision, information, instruction and training, then the life changing injuries sustained by this worker could have been prevented.”