Steel firm failed to supervise workers using unsafe machine
A manufacturer of steel reinforcement products has been fined £200,000 after a worker suffered severe injuries to his hand when it became crushed in a poorly guarded machine.
North Staffordshire magistrates heard the 51-year-old was removing leftover steel from a “Koch Straightener” machine, used for straightening steel wire, at Rom Limited’s factory in Lichfield, Staffordshire, in October 2015. His hand became trapped between the rotating rollers inside the machine, causing serious crush injuries to his hand. He also lost of the tip of his index finger in the incident.
HSE’s investigation found Rom Ltd had failed to identify the risks associated with workers manually operating the machine, and had not taken appropriate steps to ensure the machine was properly guarded. It also failed to provide the required level of supervision for the activity.
Rom Ltd of Staffordshire, which reported a turnover of £81m in 2015, pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. It was ordered to pay prosecution costs of £17,200.63, in addition to the fine.