A shop-fitting equipment manufacturer based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, has been fined, after an employee’s arm was crushed in a poorly guarded machine.
Thirty five year old father of two Christopher Davidson, of Siddal, in Halifax, was working for Design and Display Ltd, at their plant on the Lowfields Business Park, in Elland, when his arm was dragged into a slatwall machine, which is used for cutting and shaping large panels used in the shop-fitting industry.
Calderdale Magistrates Court heard that Mr. Davidson was a skilled operator, who had trained others how to use the slatwall machine but on the day of the accident the machine had developed a fault which required the attention of maintenance engineers.
When the engineers had fixed the fault and the machine was re-started, Mr. Davidson noticed tape on one of the machines rollers, realising this could damage the shop-fitting panel as it was passed through the machine, he tried to remove it but was dragged in between the rollers.
Mr. Davidson’s arm was pulled through a fifteen centimetre gap, from the tips of his fingers to his shoulder, causing severe crush injuries, he was hospitalised for two weeks and had to endure eight operations, he has not as yet been able to return to work and will never regain full use of his damaged right arm.
Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Design and Display Ltd, was prosecuted and fined £2,000 after pleading guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Regulations.
Speaking after the court hearing a HSE inspector stated that the company had failed to ensure that the slatwall machine was adequately guarded and this had resulted in an employee suffering a permanent disability.