Company fined after man breaks neck

Company fined after man breaks neck 25536

A company in Shropshire has been fined after a man broke his neck while working at a steel engineering company.

Shrewsbury Magistrates Court heard that CRF did not take effective measures that would have prevented access to dangerous moving parts of machines on its premises in Wem on December 6th 2011.

Magistrates were told the 39-year-old employee was using a twin pillar drill when the work accident happened.

While boring holes into a metal box, the sleeve on the man's overalls unrolled and became entangled into the running spindle, which was unguarded.

The 39-year-old was pulled into the machine and as it continued to run his arm and upper body were dragged into a machine area - pinning him to a metal object.

Although the man was unable to move as he was being crushed - he managed to call for help and was eventually freed by a fellow colleague.

The anonymous man was rushed to hospital, where doctors diagnosed him as having three fractures in his neck, as well as serious cuts and burns on his right arm.

A lenghty hospital stay of seven weeks followed this - as did a ten week stint of physiotherapy that meant the man had to wear a neck brace for six months. Although the employee has made a decent recovery, the left side of his body has been weakened by injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation and found CRF did not have adequate guards for many of its machines and there were no formal systems of supervision or training implemented by managers.

CRF was fined £13,000 and ordered to pay £7,871 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Marie-Louise Riley-Roberts said: "The risk of contact with rotating drills is a recognised hazard in the engineering industry and is supported by well-documented accident statistics."

By Francesca Witney