Machine maintenance task was missing risk assessment

A Leicestershire based aluminium extrusion company has been fined after an employee suffered serious hand and leg injuries.

The employee of Boal UK Limited and four others were carrying out maintenance work to an aluminium extrusion machine. They were placing a new stem in place using a chain mesh sling. The injured person was operating the overhead travelling crane with a remote pendant. As the stem was being manoeuvred into position, it fell, striking him on his hand and leg. His injuries required surgical amputation to the tops of three fingers. He also suffered a fractured tibia.

Investigating, the HSE found that an unsafe system of work had been used. No risk assessment had been carried out of the work required to remove and refit the stem. It was also found that employees undertaking the work were inadequately trained.

Boal UK Limited of Ashby Road East, Shepshed, Leicestershire pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and were fined £133,000 with costs of £6,346.30.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Michelle Morrison commented: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working.”