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26th August 2020

Leeds Manufacturer Fined £120,000 After Worker is Crushed

An incident at Leeds and Bradford Boiler Co Ltd in which a worker suffered a series of injuries including a broken upper and crushed lower arm has led to the company being sentenced for safety breaches.

In November 2018, employee Paul Madarasz was machining a two-tonne metal plate on a vertical borer machine. For some reason, the plate was not sitting flush to the table and so a crane with a ‘C’ shaped hook was used to raise one side of the plate so that the issue could be inspected.

Whilst elevated, the plate slipped from the hook attachment trapping his arm between it and the table.

Mr Madarasz has undergone several operations and is unlikely to gain full function in his right arm.

Investigation

A subsequent investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that there was no safe system of work documented for the activity of using the borer machine.

Furthermore, there had been no assessment of the activity of lifting plates from the machine undertaken and therefore employees had been left to their own devices as to a methodology for this.

Guilty Plea

Leeds and Bradford Boiler Co Ltd pled guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 by not complying with its obligations to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety, and welfare at work of all their employees.

The company was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £7,962 in costs.

HSE Statement

After the hearing, an HSE inspector stated; ‘Lifting operations and foreseeable activities including cleaning should be properly assessed and planned.’

‘This incident could so easily have been avoided by using suitable lifting accessories, implementing safe working practices, and ensuring these are followed through appropriate supervision and monitoring.’

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