A Costly Mishap: Metal Company Fined £12,000 for Worker’s Life-Altering Injury

When it comes to workplace safety, cutting corners can have devastating consequences. A recent case involving a metal processing company in Oldbury, West Midlands, serves as a sobering reminder of this fact.

On 3rd May 2022, a husband and father, suffered a horrific injury while setting up one of the company’s metal slitting lines which led him to spend 11 days in hospital undergoing multiple surgeries, including the amputation of his middle finger and skin grafts. The physical and emotional toll of such a traumatic experience is unimaginable.

A Preventable Incident

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed some startling oversights on the part of the West Midlands company. Firstly, the company lacked a proper system of work to ensure the safe setting and checking of blades on the slitting head rollers.

Moreover, the risk assessment for the wide slitting line was deemed inadequate, failing to consider the risks employees face when setting the blades. These shortcomings proved costly, both for the employee and the company itself.

A Wake-Up Call

HSE inspector Sarah Smewin added, “The risks arising from working near to the dangerous moving parts of machinery are well known. Employers must assess their workplace for these risks and act to ensure that effective measures are in place to prevent access to dangerous, moving parts of machinery.”

This incident serves as a stark reminder that workplace safety should never be taken lightly. By prioritising proper risk assessments, implementing robust safety protocols, and fostering a culture of vigilance, businesses can prevent such devastating accidents and protect their most valuable assets – their employees.

This has been adapted from an article by the Health and Safety Executive which can be found here.

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