A Scotch whisky company have paid fines of £50,000 after an engineer suffered a preventable machinery crush accident at work, according to recent reports. The engineer, who was from the Fire Protection Group Ltd (FPG) was on-site at the Chivas Brothers Ltd bottling plant in Dumbarton. He was trapped and crushed inside a machine and suffered injuries to his chest, shoulder and leg. He also cut his head when an extractor device in the machine pinned him to the ground.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found the FPG had failed to carry out a thorough risk assessment for inspecting the fire suppression systems inside the machine unit. It also found Chivas Brothers failed to give the necessary safety information to its own employees and FPG employees working on the units. Both companies had to pay fines of £50,000.
Alistair Duncan, head of the Health and Safety Investigation Unit at the COPFS, said: “This was a foreseeable accident resulting in injuries that could have been avoided if an agreed safe system of work had been in place and all relevant safety information had been shared.
“This prosecution and the sentence should serve to remind employers that failure to fulfil their obligations can have serious consequences and that they will be held to account for their failings.”
Both companies cooperated fully with the investigation and “have implemented new systems of working since the accident”, the prosecution service said.
Machinery Crush Accident at Work
Machinery at work causes over 1,500 serious injuries a year, according to the Health and Safety Executive. Crush injuries typically occur with a worker’s entanglement with a machine. Many machinery crush accidents at work affect the legs, hands and fingers. They can also permanently affect the injured person’s ability to work.
A machinery crush accident at work can cause:
- Nerve damage
- Excessive bleeding
- Cuts and broken bones
- Severe bruising and soft tissue damage
Employers have a duty to ensure that machinery is working properly. They should also ensure staff have training on how to operate it safely.
In addition, The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 offer more employer requirements. One of those is to fix suitable guards; another is to establish “danger zones” around machinery. In turn, no worker comes into contact with a dangerous moving part.
If the employer doesn’t take reasonable steps to protect you and you have a machinery crush accident at work, then you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries.
How We Can Help
Here at The Compensation Experts we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with personal injury claims. This includes a machinery crush accident at work. So contact us today by filling in our contact form. Or call us on 01614138765 to speak to one of our friendly knowledgeable advisors.