A Sheffield fencing manufacturer has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), after an employee suffered serious arm injuries in an accident at work.
The worker, who asked not to be named was employed by international fencing manufacturer Betafence Ltd, at their factory in Sheffield and was attempting to fix a wire breakage on the rotating block of a wire drawing machine.
In order to re-thread the block the employee had to lean into the machine with his left arm through one of the blocks, as he did so the machine started up unexpectedly trapping his arm in the moving parts.
The worker suffered serious personal injury in the accident, including compound fractures to his lower arm and a dislocated elbow. Since the accident he has had to endure three skin graft operations and has had to have two metal plates inserted into his forearm.
The results of an investigation by the HSE, suggest that the man could have accidentally pressed the start button as he leant into the machine, however an interlock which is designed to cut power to the machine in such an eventuality had failed.
Betafence Ltd, whose head office is in Belgium, was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay court costs totalling £3,762, after admitting a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court.
The injured employee has since left the company.