Page 8 - IOSH Magazine March 2019
P. 8


        SIG Trading implements gross misconduct

        policy after worker loses fingers in machine

        A steel cladding manufacturer   The Health and Safety                           working inside the light guards.
        that was fined £600,000 after   Executive (HSE) investigation                      “There is a risk of a person’s
        a worker’s hand was crushed   found the company had failed to                   hand being crushed by the upper
        in a metal bending machine   ensure workers used the folding                    and lower clamping beams and
        has made working inside    machine only when the guards                         flanged folding beams,” it said,
        light curtains an act of gross   were in place.                                 and recommended that machine
        misconduct.                  HSE inspector Leona Cameron                        operatives immediately stop
          The fine was imposed on SIG   told IOSH Magazine that it was   Operatives circumvented the light curtain  working within the light beam.
        Trading after the accident at its    “custom and practice” for                     However, the company failed
        A Steadman and Son plant in   operatives to circumvent the   bolted to the floor so workers   to implement the risk assess-
        Welton, Cumbria, on 21 October   safety light curtain and carry the   couldn’t move it in front of the   ment and the practice continued.
        2015.                      machine’s control foot pedal into   light curtains. It was a very   Cameron said an assessment in
          Machine operative Matthew   the danger zone. This allowed   dangerous process that had   2014 “removed any reference to
        Hook was working on the RAS   them to stand closer to the   developed.”         the practice of operatives
        XXL-Center, a 6.4 m long   machinery than they should have   Hook was inside the danger   working inside the light guard or
        electrically powered machine,   done so they could work on small   zone when the accident   the risk that arose as a result”.
        which folds metal sheets that SIG   pieces of steel.   happened.                   She added: “The section that
        Trading sells to the steel building   The workers would then “kick   Carlisle Crown Court was told   had been labelled ‘moving parts’,
        and agricultural sectors.   back” with their leg to interrupt   that SIG Trading was aware of   in which the 2013 risk assess-
          His dominant left hand   the light beam, causing a signal   this unsafe practice but had   ment had identified working
        became trapped in the jaws of   for the machine to stop.   taken no action.     within the light guard, contained
        the machine and he had to have   Cameron said: “The foot   A risk assessment in 2013   only the phrase ‘maintain and
        parts of four fingers amputated.   control pedal should have been   highlighted that employees were   monitor controls’.”

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