Manufacturer sentenced after worker injured

A supplier to the aerospace trade from Durham has been fined when an employee suffered serious leg injuries.
cav aerospace logo

Merthyr Magistrates’ Court heard how the CAV Aerospace Limited employee fell into the path of an advancing work platform at the company’s Llantrisant, Pontycun factory. The worker’s right leg was trapped and he was dragged along the metal floor for the length of the machine’s cycle. Mr Paul Dignam, 40 from Pontypridd suffered significant leg injuries including two broken ankles and other flesh and muscle injuries that required vein and skin grafts to both legs. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on the 5 January 2016, found that the company had failed to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery, namely the milling machine where Mr Dignam was working.

CAV Aerospace Limited of Consett, Durham pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company has been fined £800,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,119.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Wayne Williams said:

“This injury could have been easily prevented and the risk should have been identified. “Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.”

Phoenix comments:

This is not the first time CAV Aerospace have been prosecuted and had previously been convicted of corporate manslaughter at the Old Bailey in 2015 over the death of worker Paul Bowers at its premises at Cambridge Airport in 2013. Bowers became trapped under a stack of metal components used to build aircraft wings which fell as he made his way down a designated safe walkway. During the trial, the Crown Prosecution Service said that the firm’s senior management had “received clear, unequivocal and repeated warnings over a sustained period of years” before the incident. A report and financial statement filed at Companies House in June 2015 after CAV Aerospace had been acquired by a turnaround investor suggest that the company was trying to raise its game on health and safety. The new owners said that “the business is spending a great deal of time and effort on ensuring that it is implementing much improved health and safety procedures and principles which will be adopted by all staff”. However, Dignam was injured six months later after CAV Aerospace failed to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery. Further guidance on the ‘Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Approved Code of Practice and guidance’ is available from the HSE website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l22.pdf