Real-life H&S incidents

Agency worker traps hand in machine

Written by Phoenix Health & Safety
7th December 2017
quarrying machine

A quarrying company has been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker trapped his hand in machinery.

Redditch Magistrates’ Court heard how the injured person suffered a chipped bone in his wrist and a partial degloving injury to his right hand while he was cleaning a conveyor belt in April 2016 at Wildmoor Quarry Products Limited, Wildmoor Quarry near Bromsgrove. 

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to adequately manage the risk of workers being injured when operating machinery. It was also found that guarding was unsuitable to prevent access by persons to dangerous parts of machinery. 

Wildmoor Quarry Products Limited of Telford, Shropshire has pleaded guilty to Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,174.17. 

Speaking after the hearing HSE Quarries Inspector Catherine Pickett said:

“This incident could so easily have been avoided by the company if it had provided adequate training and put in place safe working practices for cleaning and maintaining conveyor belts. “Duty holders have the responsibility to ensure all dangerous machinery has the appropriate level of guarding to enable safe operation and maintenance, including cleaning operations.”

Phoenix comments: 

Quarrying remains one of the most dangerous industries to work in, since 2000 over 3500 workers have suffered an injury reportable to HSE, 31 of those being fatal. The Quarries Regulations 1999 are different both from more general health and safety regulations and also from the previous Mines and Quarries Act. No one can work in a quarry unless they are competent (or they are under the supervision of a competent person), using a definition based on knowledge, experience, training and other qualities related to the job they are to do. But despite this difference, there still is a need to assess risks, introduce appropriate control measures and to train staff in the interactions with the risk. The HSE’s ACOP for ‘Health & safety at quarries – Quarries regulations 1999’ is freely available to download.