Plastic products manufacturer fined £293,000 after employee killed

In April 2016, a 52-year-old employee of Nylacast Limited was in the process of removing a cast plastic rod from a casting machine. The rod was secured in the machine by a pressurised piston, which should have been depressurised before the rod was removed. As the employee went to remove the rod from the machine, the metal retaining end cap and plastic rod were forcibly ejected, with the rod travelling at an estimated 81 mph and hitting him in the chest. He died the following day in hospital due to his injuries.

The HSE investigation found that the company had failed to undertake a suitable and sufficient assessment of the long length rod machine in order to ensure that all foreseeable hazards had been identified.

Nylacast Limited of Thurmaston Boulevard, Leicester, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR) and Regulation 12 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER). The company has been fined £293,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,205.61, as well as a victim surcharge of £170.

After the hearing HSE inspector Alex Nayar said, “Those in control of work equipment have a responsibility to undertake a suitably robust assessment in order to ensure that all foreseeable hazards have been identified. Had this hazard been identified, suitable engineering controls could have been devised and implemented to minimise the risk, therefore this death could have been prevented.”

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