Two Machine Operators Seriously Injured due to Health and Safety Negligence

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According to the HSE, a cable manufacturer has been fined after two employees were injured. Occurring on two separate occasions, both injuries were inflicted by the same machine, used by employees of the cable factory in Leigh. (1)

Used by factory employees to mold the cable rubber together, the machine was in frequent use on the factory floor, with regular maintenance required. Losing almost all use of his left arm, one of the victims narrowly avoided resorting to amputation. The other victim suffered a deep cut to his left index finger when, it became caught against the machine's blade. (1)

Their employer, TCB Arrow Ltd, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after their investigation exposed serious health and safety failings. TCB workers had not been provided with adequate training, their machines were poorly maintained and vital safety features were missing or inadequate. (1)

Commenting on these accidents, Thomas Fairclough, an Asons Solicitors executive, stated that:

“Accidents of this kind are devastating and very unfortunate, it is discerning to think that they could have been prevented, had the correct health and safety guidelines had been in place. I can only hope that other employers will learn from this terrible incident”

As a direct result of these health and safety failings, a 24-year-old man from Leigh, trapped his finger while cleaning the blade; he had accidently leant against the operating pedal,causing his finger to become trapped. (1)

The second incident happened less than a month later, when a 23-year-old man from Leigh’s left arm became trapped, while cleaning the rollers on the same machine. (1)

He immediately pressed the stop bar, however, despite this the machine took several seconds to come to a complete halt, causing his arm to be dragged into the rollers and his entire body to be lifted off the ground. It took the emergency services almost an hour to release him from the machine, with his accident causing him to be hospitalised for nearly a month. (1)

TCB Arrow Ltd, of Watchmoor Road in Camberley, Surrey, was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay £10,984 in prosecution costs, after admitting a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. (Court Reference Number T20130274)

Thomas Fairclough added:

“Unfortunately, any health and safety compensation awarded as a result of these accidents at work can’t undo the severe damage that has already been caused.”
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Helen Mansfield said:

"Two employees were injured within a month of each other because TCB Arrow's health and safety procedures fell way below the minimum legal standards.

"One of the men will be affected by his injuries for the rest of his life after losing almost all of the use of his left arm. His injuries could have been avoided if the company had taken action to improve safety following the first incident.

"Our investigation found TCB last carried out a generic risk assessment for the factory in 2003, and there had never been a specific assessment of the machine - despite the risks of workers being injured by rollers being well known in the manufacturing industry.
According to the HSE workers in the manufacturing industry almost twice as likely to suffer from a fatal accident at work, compared to the national average. Overall 20 people lost their lives while working in this industry in 2012/13. (1)

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 Industrial Accident Claim process, that information is available at http://www.asons.co.uk, or via an expert helpline on 01204 521 133.

(1)    Cable firm fined after two Leigh workers injured - http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2013/rnn-nw-tcb-arrow.htm - HSE August 2013

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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(dot)uk
Website: http://www.asons.co.uk

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John King
@AsonsSolicitors
since: 01/2013
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