Man Severely Injures Arm At Pirelli Tyre Factory, Asons Solicitors Comment

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According to the HSE, Tyre manufacturer Pirelli has appeared in court after an employee sustained major injuries to his left arm, when it became trapped in a tyre-testing machine.

The 57-year-old from Carlisle fractured his arm in three places, and as a result was off work for four months. Unfortunately, he still has mobility issues in his shoulder, following the accident on 3 January 2012. (1)

As a result of the accident, Pirelli Tyres Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE,) after an investigation discovered that the safety procedures regarding the machine’s maintenance were of a poor standard. (1)

Carlisle Magistrates' Court heard that the worker was trying to fix a fault on the machine, which lubricates, inflates and then measures tyres. The fault became apparent when the machine was first used after the employees returned to work, following a Christmas Shutdown. (1)

After the fault, he switched the machine to manual mode, and removed one of the guards to attempt to repair the lubricating part of the machine. The employee then switched the machine to the automatic setting, and it processed two tyres successfully before becoming struck again. (1)

Without thinking, he immediately reached back into the machine which began operating again, trapping his arm. (1)

Commenting on the accident, Thomas Fairclough, Asons Executive at Asons Solicitors stated that:

“Any health and safety compensation awarded as a result of this accident can’t undo the damage caused; this accident at work could have been easily avoided, had the suggested health and safety improvements been implemented. In this case, they weren’t”

The HSE investigation discovered that the same fault had previously occurred, after the machine was restarted following previous Christmas shutdowns despite this, Pirelli had failed to carry out a specific risk assessment for maintenance to rectify this error. (1)

There was also limited supervision of the maintenance. Pirelli’s employee’s general knowledge of the company's overall written health and safety procedures were poor, and there were no systems in place to ensure that the company's Safe Working Procedures guidelines were being followed religiously. (1)

Pirelli Tyres Ltd was fined £20,000, and ordered to pay £4,330 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 on 21 August 2013. (Case Reference Number: T20130821)

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Michael Griffiths said:

"A moment's lapse in concentration left an employee with major injuries to his left arm because Pirelli's management of the risks from maintenance work wasn't good enough.
"The fault with the machine had occurred before, following previous Christmas breaks, but the company didn't have a specific risk assessment in place to make sure it could be fixed safely. (1)

"Although Pirelli did have written Safe Working Procedures, they were not effective because the employees were either unaware of them or weren't following them, and no effort was made to check that the procedures were being followed. (1)

"This incident could have been avoided if Pirelli had done more to make sure that risks were being properly assessed and its employees were following safe working practices." (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)    Pirelli in court over injuries at Carlisle tyre - http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2013/rnn-nw-pirelli-tyres.htm – HSE April 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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Imran Akram
Asons Solicitors

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