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Manufacturer in court after worker loses arm

08 June 2015

An animal feed supplement manufacturer has been fined for serious safety failings after a worker lost his arm after it was pulled into machinery.

 

Frederick Sharp, 71, of Stamford, had to have his right arm amputated after the incident at UFAC (UK) Ltd’s plant in Oakham, Rutland on 14 January 2014.

Leicester Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Sharp was adjusting a belt on a production line conveyor feeding a bagging point. He removed a guard to access the adjusting screw when his arm was drawn into the in-running nip between the belt and roller.

 

He suffered extensive injuries to his right arm, resulting in amputation to below the shoulder. His also suffered multiple fractures to his right hip and leg which required surgery to insert a pin and plate. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to ensure measures were taken to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery.

 

HSE had taken previous enforcement against UFAC (UK) for similar failings three years prior to the incident. In January 2011 the company was issued with a Prohibition Notice preventing access underneath a running conveyor because fixed guards were not in place to prevent the risk of being drawn into or trapped in moving machinery.


UFAC (UK) Ltd, Waterwitch House, Exeter Road, Newmarket, Suffolk, was fined £8000 with £1633 costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

 

Following the case, HSE Inspector Judith McNulty-Green said: "This was an entirely preventable incident. The dangers of nip points, or the gaps between a moving belt and a stationary part of a machine, are well-known. UFAC (UK) should have ensured guarding suitable for the maintenance of the machine was in place. It is important that companies recognise the need for and implement safe machinery guarding, not just for operator safety but also for safety during maintenance.”

For more information about work equipment and machinery safety log onto the HSE website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/index.htm


 
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