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Famed tyre manufacturer Pirelli has appeared in court and received a hefty fine after an employee sustained a serious injury at work.
The 57-year-old from Carlisle affected has asked to remain anonymous, but it was revealed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that the man broke his arm in three places and was off for four months because of how bad the accident was.
Carlisle Magistrates' Court heard that the worker was trying to fix a fault on a machine that lubricates, inflates and then measures the quality of tyres.
Attendees at the trial were told that the equipment suffered a problem after being put into cold shutdown after the Christmas break.
The 57-year-old switched the machine into manual mode and removed one of the guards to repair a fault in the lubrication system and then returned the device to automatic mode so it could be tested.
Once again, the equipment did not work, so the man put his arm into one of the components to assess whether it was broken.
But because it was on automatic mode, the machine continued to work and trapped his arm - causing multiple injuries.
A HSE investigation found that Pirelli had failed to carry out a proper risk assessment for the 57-year-old's risk assessment.
It also found that there was limited supervision of employees and that staff had a generally poor knowledge of health and safety practices.
Because of these failings, the tyre firm was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £4,330 in costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 on August 21st 2013.
HSE inspector Michael Griffiths commented: "A moment's lapse in concentration left an employee with major injuries to his left arm because Pirelli's management of the risks from maintenance work wasn't good enough.
"The fault with the machine had occurred before, following previous Christmas breaks, but the company didn't have a specific risk assessment in place to make sure it could be fixed safely."
By Francesca Witney
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