A rotating drill became lodged in a worker’s body in a horrific accident involving an industrial drilling machine.
Joseph Spencer was injured in the accident whilst employed by Leach Structural Steel Work Ltd during November 2010. The 45 year old was at work at the company’s premises in Claughton, Preston.
Mr Spencer was working with an industrial drilling machine that drills holes into steel beams. These beams are then used in the construction industry when erecting new buildings.
During the running of the machine, Mr Spencer noticed that coolant was not feeding properly onto the rotating drills. He tried to fix the problem by gaining access to the machine through a loosened fence panel. However, whilst he was in the machine, the drill moved towards him, piercing his overalls and jeans before becoming lodged close to his spine.
Mr Spencer suffered serious injuries, including a split bowel, twisted pelvis and damage to his right hand.
The Health and Safety Executive found that the loose fence panel was regularly used by workers as a gate into the machine. This was because they had problems restarting the machine, and this way they avoided tripping safety sensors that shut down the machine.
A Preston Crown Court last week, the company pleaded guilty to breaking work equipment regulations in regards to the accident. They were fined £20,000.