Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations

An employer has been fined £15,000 following an accident in which an employee suffered serious hand injuries.

The employee was checking a reel-fed machine when his hand was caught in the machine. He lost three fingers, partially severed his thumb, suffered injuries to his little finger and had to undergo two surgical procedures.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) incestigation found that the accident happened when the employee opened the door of the machine. This ought to have automatically stopped the machine but as the safety interlocks had been overridden the machine kept running and his fingers became caught.

The employers pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 which states that:

“Every employer shall ensure that measures which are effective; (a)to prevent access to any dangerous part of machinery or to any rotating stock-bar; or (b)to stop the movement of any dangerous part of machinery or rotating stock-bar before any part of a person enters a danger zone.

Employers must ensure that their employees are safe in work. It is particularly important to ensure that all equipment they expect employees to use is safe, and that employees are not able to access the dangerous moving parts of machinery.

If you have been involved in an accident at work, please contact Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP for advice.