“Cheshire Company Fined After Worker Injured During Unsafe Operation” Asons Solicitors Comment

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According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a firm has been fined £4,000 for breaching Health and Safety legislation, after an employee’s arm was dragged into unguarded machinery. (1)

This was an entirely preventable injury, caused by disregard for basic safety rules. It is alleged, that there was no formal safe system of work for the baler cleaning task.

The company was prosecuted by Chester Magistrates’ Court (Case Reference T20130206) on Friday 24th October, after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identified safety failings with the method of work. (1)

On the day of the incident, the victim - a 29-year-old man, who has preferred to remain anonymous – was cleaning around a baling machine, used to compress waste cardboard, when his hand got trapped. It is believed, that the unsafe cleaning operation led to the breaking of the arm, as well as crush injuries to his hand. (1)

As reported by the HSE press release, the second-hand baler – installed in 2009 - had been modified by relocating the control panel, and the hydraulic power pack to the outside of an enclosure. Such modification – initially made to reduce the risk of fire - created an unguarded gap on the machine itself. (1)

The Court was told the company did not carry out any risk assessment on the use of the baler, and employees were allegedly asked to remove waste cardboard, and dust, on a daily basis, while the machine was still running. (1)

Commenting on the news, Thomas Fairclough, Asons Executive at Asons Solicitors said:

“This was an entirely preventable injury, caused by disregard for basic safety rules. It is alleged, that there was no formal safe system of work for the baler cleaning task.

“Any health and safety compensation awarded, as a result of this accident at work, can’t undo the damage caused. This accident could have been easily avoided, had appropriate health and safety measures been followed. In this case, they were not.”

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Lisa Bailey said:

“Prowell allowed the baler to operate for over three years without being properly guarded, which ultimately led to a worker being badly injured.

“It should have carefully considered the consequences of removing the control panel and power pack when the machine was first installed at the factory, and assessed the risks to workers.

“The company fitted a temporary mesh guard following the incident and has since installed a permanent fixed and interlocked guard. If these measures had been in place at the time of the incident then the employee’s injuries could have been avoided.” (1)

The company, based in Ellesmere Port, was fined £41,000, and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £7,053, after pleading guilty to single breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1998 on 24 October 2013. (1)

Asons Solicitors have a wealth of experience in dealing with machinery injuries cases, and have been exposed to a variety of working practices, which endanger the health and safety of employees on a regular basis.

Asons Solicitors suggest, that if someone would like to learn more about the consequences of an accident at work, or if they would like to better understand the Health and Safety Claims process, that information is available at http://www.asons.co.uk, or via an expert helpline on 01204 521 133.

(1)    HSE, 24th October 2013 press.hse.gov.uk/2013/cardboard-firm-in-court-over-employees-injuries/

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About Asons Solicitors:
Asons Solicitors is a Bolton-based law practice that specialises in personal injury and industrial disease claims. Founded by brothers Imran Akram and Kamran Akram, Asons Solicitors has developed to become a young and dynamic law firm that delivers practical solutions to clients in times of difficulty. Their continued focus on their staff has seen them awarded with the Investors in People “Gold Award”; which is reflected in the professional and personable approach they take in working with clients. They strive to grow and to develop, and their supportiveness and attention to detail ensures that their clients use them time and again.

For further information contact:
Email: info(at)asons(dot)co.uk
Website: http://www.asons.co.uk

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Imran Akram
Asons Solicitors

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