A ceiling company has been fined £24,000 for serious safety breaches after a worker required skin grafts on his arm which had been caught in machinery.
The 61-year-old Stafford man was removing hardened-on glue from the lower roller spindle on a laminator machine when his left arm was caught in the drive mechanism at CEP Ceiling Ltd’s premises on 21 January last year.
His forearm was caught in the intermeshing metal gears, which chewed up a large chunk of tissue. He needed a skin graft to help it heal.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the covers protecting the drive mechanism had been removed to give easier access to the spindle.
Stafford Magistrates’ Court was told that the company had not carried out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.
In addition, no safe system of work was in place, and insufficient monitoring of employees took place to identify unsafe practices.
CEP Ceilings Ltd of Verulam Road, Stafford, was fined a total of £24,000 and ordered to pay £1,194 in costs after admitting to breaches of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Wayne Owen said: “Mr Turney suffered a painful injury as a result of CEP Ceilings Ltd failing to effectively assess the risk to employees from using and cleaning the machine and then prescribe a system of work which kept employees safe.
“Workers were left to determine their own methods of cleaning machinery and these unsafe methods had existed for many years.
“Safe systems of work, information, instruction and training are required to control the risks during both production and maintenance activities.
“A robust system to monitor employees also needs to be in place to detect any poor practices.”