On 3rd November 2016, an employee was working on a socket machine, building a short pipe into a socket, at their site in Roxburghshire, Scotland. He was placing a pipe into a socket when the shorter length of pipe fell out, the worker reached to catch the pipe to prevent it being clamped and his left hand came into contact with the exposed clamp causing serious injury.
The HSE investigation found that the company had carried out a risk assessment in 2006 for the socket machine, however this did not cover working with shorter length pipes and did not identify a risk from entrapment. It was noted that the socket machine had no guard in place, with the result that the clamping mechanism was exposed.
Emtelle UK Limited of Roxburghshire pleaded guilty to Regulations 11(1) and (2) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and were fined £100,000.
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Stuart Easson said, “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
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