An international chemical company has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), after an employee almost lost his arm in an accident at work.
The fifty six year old male employee from Northwich, in Cheshire, who has not been named, was working at Amcol Minerals Europe Ltd’s factory on Weaver Valley Road in Winsford, when his left arm was dragged into a conveyors rotating mechanism as he assisted with cleaning duties.
His injuries included a broken elbow, crush damage to his left hand and extensive bruising on the left side of his body, which kept him off work for several weeks.
An investigation into the incident by the HSE revealed that the conveyor was not fitted with an appropriate safety guard, which would have prevented access to dangerous moving parts.
Amcol Minerals Europe Ltd, a division of the world wide Amcol International group, admitted a breach of the ‘Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations’ and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay court costs totalling £6,702.50, following a successful prosecution by the HSE at Chester Magistrates’ Court.
Since the accident Amcol Minerals have fitted an interlocking guard system around the conveyors moving parts and power to the machine is automatically cut if the guard is removed.
A spokesperson from the HSE stated that had this simple procedure been carried out at an earlier date, this serious work accident would have been completely avoided.