Hydraulic Firm Fined after Worker Loses Sight in One Eye
A hydraulic cylinder manufacturer based in Clitheroe has been prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) after a worker suffered serious injuries to his face during a test procedure.
Lodematic Components Ltd was fined by the HSE on 2nd October 2015 for serious safety failings following the incident at their factory in Clitheroe in January 2014.
An employee of Lodematic Components Ltd was badly injured after being hit in the face by a pressurised hose as a connector failed during a test. The incident left the employee completely blind in his left eye; his jaw was broken and he also suffered numerous lacerations to his face.
Preston Crown Court heard that at the time of the incident the employee was working with the Works Manager and Design Engineer, assisting the engineer in pressure testing a hydraulic cylinder.
HSE Investigation & Findings
An investigation by the HSE revealed that the test equipment being used had not been sufficiently maintained and was therefore unsuitable for the task. The investigation also found that the test zone itself has not been segregated or safe guarded as required. Furthermore, Lodematic Compotents Ltd had also failed in their duty to carry out a risk assessment.
The firm was fined £35,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £7,835.52, after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
HSE inspector Bradley Wigglesworth said after the hearing:
“Lodematic (Components) Limited failed to assess the risks or provide a safe system of work for pressure testing hydraulic cylinders.
“The test was carried out without segregating or safeguarding the test zone, and the test connectors were not subject to maintenance or inspection. If these measures had been in place at the time of the incident then the employee’s life changing injuries could have been avoided.”
Injury at Work – Expert Advice
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Source: Health & Safety Executive