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Case exposes dangers of wearing gloves when working with lathes

Matthew Winder our firms Senior Director reports that on the 10th March 2015 the Health and Safety Executive reported a prosecution of a company in Aberdeenshire who were fined for serious safety failings after a worker was injured when his gloved hand was pulled in to a metal working lathe.

The worker was working in a precision engineering department and was working on a lathe when the incident happened.

The lathes had been remotely set up to the correct new diameter by a computer but the Employee had switched to manual mode and was using emery cloth to finish the pins off when the emery cloth caught in the machinery pulling his gloved right hand in with it.

The Employee suffered strained tendons in two fingers and a fractured bone in his hand, and was off work for four weeks as a result.

The Health and Safety Executive found the company had failed to;

Carry out an assessment of the risk relating to work in the precision engineering department or for the use of any of the machinery within it. Failing to train the Operations Manager who had responsibility for the day to day running of the workshop in health and safety. Failing to carry out a risk assessment for the use of emery cloths which was seen as normal practice and therefore workers have developed and used an unsafe working method. Safer alternatives were available but had not been explored by the company. Filing to follow health and safety guidance from the Health and Safety Executive on avoiding injuries on metal working lathes. A guide has been issued by the Health and Safety Executive first in 1993 and then update in 2004. Matthew Winder is a Senior Director of the firm and is based at our Lancaster, Kendal and Barrow offices. Matthew Winder handles employer’s liability injury cases.Dated: 23rd March 2015.

The case is a lesson to companies that by following the Health and Safety Executive guide and training your staff in carrying out risk assessments can avoid injuries to your employees.

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