• Robert Spicer

Serious injuries in conveyor system: £200,000 fine

Serious injuries in conveyor system: company fined £200,000

Health and Safety Executive v Forterra Building Products Ltd (2018) Burnley magistrates’ court, October 11

Statutory reference: S.2 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA)

Forterra Building Products Ltd has been fined £200,000 following an incident in which a worker suffered serious injuries.

The facts

  • In July 2017 Eddie Ely, a chargehand employed by the company, was working with colleagues to remove a blockage and spillage on a conveyor.

  • He was drawn into the conveyor system. Guards had been removed but power had not been isolated.

  • Ely suffered an amputated left arm and paralysis from the chest down.

  • The company had failed to properly ensure that machines were always isolated from power to be made safe before guarding was removed from machinery.

The decision

The company was fined £200,000 plus £7500 costs under s.2 of HSWA.

A spokesperson for the HSE is reported to have commented after the case that it showed the devastating consequences of coming into contact with dangerous machinery. It was crucial that companies had a clear procedure for isolating machinery, and appropriate supervision and monitoring to ensure that the procedure was followed.

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