Company fined £5k for factory accidentThursday, July 19th, 2012
A firm has received a fine of £5,000 after an employee sustained severe burns in a workplace accident which “changed his life”.
Stewart Wood, 60, suffered serious personal injuries while attempting to fix a machine with moving parts at a factory which manufactures seatbelts and safety harnesses.
Working alone, he was left screaming in agony before a work colleague at Marling Leek Ltd found him several minutes after the incident.
He was rushed to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire before being moved to a specialist burn unit in Birmingham. He spent three weeks in hospital recovering.
Marling Leek Ltd has been fined £5,000 after admitting health and safety regulations had not been adhered to properly.
Health and Safety Executive inspector Lyn Spooner told magistrates in Stafford that Mr Wood worked with machines containing substantial, heated rollers.
While working a night shift in August last year, Mr Wood attempted to untangle mesh that had become caught in the machinery.
He had not been trained to deal with this problem, and failed to turn off the machine before trying to clear the tangle.
His left arm became trapped and was hauled into the machine, before his right arm also became stuck as he tried to free himself.
Ms Spooner said: “According to the company, this machine has been used on site for some 25 years. That’s quite a substantial amount of time for them to know what needs to be done in terms of risk assessment.
“There have also been two previous accidents, in 2001 and 2009. Although these have been in different machines, the principles seem to be similar, in that machines aren’t being turned off before employees are dealing with twists or wrap-arounds.”
Mr Wood had skin grafted onto his burns, and now suffers with a loss of sensation in parts of his arms. He has launched a separate compensation claim against the firm.
He said in a statement read to the court: “I find it distressing that this accident, which has changed my life, could have been easily prevented.”