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Guarding is needed for all machines with dangerous moving parts. It can prevent workers getting themselves tangled up and having their limbs chewed up by machines. Guards are a vital safety feature for machines.
An example of when guarding could have prevented an injury can be found in a recent accident at a food company based in Merseyside.
The accident took place in Thatcham, Berkshire when a sugar dispenser became clogged with a clump of sugar. Their employee decided to sort it out by putting his left hand into the chute to dislodge the sugar. In doing so, sugar fell to the scales below and when the scales reached their pre-set target weight, this triggered a valve in the machine to shut.
The workers first finger was lacerated and fractured. He needed two pins inserted into his finger and cannot straighten the finger out anymore.
The chutney-making company was fined £15,000 after admitting that they had breached the law and that their equipment was not up to regulatory standards. They also should have carried out a proper risk assessment. This would have revealed that the sugar dispensing machine was risky to operate and maintain, and crucially needed guarding in order to prevent workplace accidents.
Preventative Measures of Guarding
If there was guarding around the dangerous components, the worker would have been prevented from inserting his hand into the machine. This would have saved the damage to his finger, which after several physiotherapy sessions would appear to be permanent.
The law requires companies to safeguard their employees by managing the risks their employees incur in using work equipment. As such, employers should recognise the importance of guarding, making the workplace a safer environment when it comes to machines with dangerous moving parts.
Guarding can stop crush injuries, loss of limbs and other serious injuries from taking place. If you notice a dangerous machine at work that needs adapting to include guards, you should report it to your employer before an accident can occur.
The Personal Injury Lawyers at Claims Direct deal with accident at work compensation claims on a No Win No Fee basis. For a free consultation call us on freephone 0800 884 0321 or you can start your injury claim online and we’ll review your claim at no cost to you.
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