Engineering firm fined over worker injury15 June 2015

A precision engineering firm have been fined after an incident in which an employee was seriously hurt.

Trafford magistrates heard an employee of Metool Co was working in the pipe shop in the factory as a "pipe bender". On the 31 July 2014 he was working in the pipe shop and was tasked with putting slits into dipsticks using a milling machine. This was a task that was routinely carried out on the milling machine.

The worker was asked by his manager to make slits in 75 dip sticks as there was a fault with a previous order. After completing a couple of cuts, the worker noticed that the blade was not cutting correctly and the blade was blunt. He spoke to his manager to see if there were any more blades that could be used. A new blade was found and put on the milling machine.

After undertaking one cut, the employee started the machine up but noticed the coolant was not going towards the blade because the coolant pipe had moved on the machine bed. He was standing in front of the machine with his hand to the right of the rotating blade and he moved his hand to the right of the blade and moved the coolant tube so the coolant was hitting the blade, as he did this he moved his arm back and his right jumper sleeve got caught in the blade. The blade was rotating clockwise and his hand was pulled down and drawn into the blade.

The blade cut the bottom of his right wrist, twisted his arm and cut the top of his wrist. This caused his hand to drop away from his forearm. With his right hand still trapped in the blade he used his left hand to reach the on off switch at the top of the milling machine head.

The injured man was taken to hospital where he underwent plastic surgery and a nerve graft. He hospital for eight days and is still awaiting further surgery to enable more movement in his hand. He cannot yet return to work.

Metool Co, a precision engineer, fabricator and tube manipulator of Unit 6, Salmonfields, Royton, Oldham, pleaded guilty of breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, Regulation 11 (1) at Trafford Magistrates' Court and and was fined £18,000 with costs of £801.

Ian Vallely

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