Hydrapower Dynamics, a Birmingham engineering company has been fined by Birmingham Magistrates’ Court after a 53 year-old worker’s finger was severed by a machine used for bending tubes on 24 January 2011. The worker, Robert Cuzick from Birmingham, put his hand on the tube bending machine’s clamping arm to make it start again. Unfortunately, the metal arm of the machine was unguarded and fell towards him. It trapped Mr Cuzick’s left hand middle finger, and subsequently cut iff just before the knuckle. Doctors were not able to reattach the finger and Mr Cuzick was unable to work for a month as a consequence of the accident.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducted an investigation into the incident and discovered that several dangerous parts on this machine were not guarded. Hydrapower Dynamics’ had before identified that there was a risk with using this machine, however they had done nothing to remedy this.
HSE inspector Matthew Whitaker said after the hearing that if the company had followed its risk assessment and complied with basic health and safety standards then Cuzick would not have been left with permanent injury. He then stated –
“This case shows that putting risk assessments into action is essential to protect employees and completing one should not be seen merely as a paper exercise. Companies must implement control measures that are identified in risk assessments, and then monitor them to make sure they are working properly.”
Hydrapower Dynamics Ltd was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 cost after pleading guilty to violating Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.