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Worker suffers hand injury

What happened?

The UK Health & Safety Executive (UK HSE) reports that a company was fined after a worker suffered a serious hand injury after a machinery incident. The incident occurred when his hand became entangled with the rotating workpiece of a manually operated metalwork lathe. The resulting injury later requiring surgical amputation to part of his left index finger.

What went wrong? What were the causes

An investigation by the UK HSE found that:

  • The machine operators were using an unsafe system of work;
  • The company failed to identify if workers were routinely using this dangerous work practice;
  • The lathe used by the injured person had a faulty emergency footbrake – and this had been reported to the company earlier, but the lathe had not been taken out of service.

What lessons were learnt?

  • The company failed to identify that employees were routinely carrying out an unsafe work practice when hand applying emery cloth to a workpiece rotating at speed;

The company had failed to take the faulty lathe out of service.

Members may wish to review the following incidents:

Machine guarding

Serious hand injury during use of deck scaler

Entanglement in moving or rotating machinery – a timely reminder of the risks of entanglement in moving or rotating machinery from the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

Safety Event

Published: 13 July 2017
Download: IMCA SF 17/17

Relevant life-saving rules:
IMCA Safety Flashes
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IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.

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