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Court Summary - at a glance
- Ensure that machinery was effectively guarded;
- Ensure that the guarding was not modified so that it was possible for a worker to come in contact with moving parts of the machine;
- Conduct a risk assessment before operating the machine after modifications to its guarding;
- Consult and coordinate activities with the recruitment consultant concerning alterations to plant and machine guarding;
- Ensure Safe Operating Procedures were in place and effective for each machine;
- Ensure an effective process was in place for training, monitoring and supervision of workers; and
Monitor and enforce the implementation of safety systems, in particular the form recording safety start-up checks.
The Defendant obtained workers for its factory from a recruitment agency, including the victim.
On the day of the incident, the victim was working on a mechanical press designed to punch holes into and cut lengths of steel. Months earlier a large hole had been cut in the perspex guard in order to manufacture a specific product. This hole was partially covered by wire mesh which could easily be removed.
The victim was feeding in the last part of a length of steel into the press. He guided the steel with his fingers, with his hand inside the mesh guarding. He pressed the foot pedal to activate the press, crushing his hand.
The victim lost his little, ring and middle fingers which subsequently had to be surgically amputated just above the knuckles. His index finger was also crushed and the tip of it, down to the first joint, was also lost.
• Sections 36(1)(a), 47(1) and (3)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015