Worker’s hand gets trapped in drill despite warnings from Health and Safety Officer

A manufacturer has been criticised for ignoring it’s own safety officers advice on how a dangerous piece of machinery was being used. An HSE investigation into an accident, whereby a worker’s gloved hand got entangled in a factory drill, found the company ignored the HSO’s concerns when he wrote report over a year before the incident.

The Magistrate Court heard how the 36 year old employee had only been working at the company for a few weeks and was operating a machine which makes metal sills. The investigation found the guard in place was inadequate which led to the workers glove getting caught and then rotating his hand around the drill bit. The accident caused significant injuries to his hand including a fractured and dislocated fingers.

The HSE felt that the company was given ample warning by their own safety staff of the risks to wearing gloves when using the drills and the inadequate guards. The manufacturing company was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £4,377 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

An HSE spokesperson said:

“There was simply no need for this incident to have happened, especially as their own health and safety officer had raised the issue with the company.

“The employee was lucky to escape with relatively minor injuries, but they could easily have been much worse. Workers at the factory were regularly using the drill without an adequate guard and while wearing gloves so there was a high risk that someone would be injured.

“There’s absolutely no point in manufacturers hiring health and safety officers if they’re not going to listen to their advice. Risk assessments should be acted on – not put on a shelf to gather dust.”

Accidents do happen and often a company will look after you following an accident but this doesn’t mean they are not at fault. If you received an injury when working with dangerous machinery then your company may be responsible for not having the appropriate hand guards in place or providing you with the necessary training to do your job safely or safety equipment. Sometimes the type of work you are doing may require a risk assessment or different type of machinery.

If you are interested in finding out about whether you can claim compensation for an accident or injury sustained at work call now on 0800 089 4444 for a free no-obligation conversation with our specialist team or complete an enquiry online.