Health and Safety Failings: Diecasting firm fined after worker suffers severe burns

Diecasting firm fined after worker suffers severe burns

Key Facts

  • An aluminium diecasting firm have been fined after a worker was seriously injured after becoming trapped in a machine
  • The employee suffered a cardiac arrest and fourth degree burns
  • The firm was fined £140,000 plus costs.

The Case 

An HSE investigation was launched into the health and safety practices of an aluminium diecasting producer after a worker became trapped in a machine.

In an incident in July 2015, a worker entered the decanting machine to carry out some routine maintenance. Whilst in the machine, the robot arm started to move. The worker tried to get out of the way but was trapped in the machine by the ladle containing 400 degrees centigrade molten metal. He suffered a cardiac arrest and fourth degree burns.

The subsequent HSE investigation uncovered that the machinery had only been partially guarded, despite there being a risk assessment in place that identified the hazard of contact or entrapment in the machine.

The case was heard at Manchester Crown Court where the diecasting firm pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £140,000 plus costs of £9,788.56 and a £120 victim surcharge.

What the law states

11.—(1) Every employer shall ensure that measures are taken in accordance with paragraph (2) which are effective—

(a) to prevent access to any dangerous part of machinery or to any rotating stock-bar; or

(b) to stop the movement of any dangerous part of machinery or rotating stock-bar before any part of a person enters a danger zone.

What the HSE had to say

Speaking after the hearing the HSE’s Principal Inspector Mike Sebastian said

‘A man suffered life changing injuries which could have been prevented if the machine had been properly guarded. Employers should ensure that they regularly check, assess and review the guarding on their machinery to ensure that all access to dangerous parts in prevented.’

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