Safety Guards on Machinery

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Using machinery with moving parts without guards can cause serious injury to the operator.  Under the Provisions and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, guidelines set out form the duty of the employer for protecting the health and safety of their employees when using machinery.  When these duties are not followed it can result in nasty injuries.


This occurred recently in Staffordshire when an  employee sustained a hand injury loosing the tip of a finger due to a poorly guarded machine. The employee was testing a new machine that forms and sand-coats bricks. Whilst taking a brick from the end of the conveyor belt on the machine his hand became trapped between the conveyor belt and the roller underneath resulting in a fractured finger and loss of the tip of his finger. Health & Safety Executive investigated the accident and found the machine was missing suitable guards and if these were in place the accident could have been avoided. Staffordshire Magistrates Court fined the employer £4000.00 and was also ordered to pay costs of £5464.00.


Hopefully this company will have learnt from this awful accident and no other employees will suffer such injuries in the future.    

David Chilcott
Associate of the Institute of Legal Executives 
Personal Injury team

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