Firm fined after worker suffered ‘life changing injuries’

An aluminium diecasting company has been fined and ordered to pay costs after a member of staff was trapped in a machine while working.

Presbar Diecastings Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) over the accident, which happened in July last year. The worker was left with life changing injuries after attempting to clean the equipment.

The man suffered a heart attack and fourth degree burns while trying to clean an aluminium diecasting machine. A robot arm began to move during what should have been a routine procedure and the man was unable to get out of the way. As a result, he was trapped by a ladle containing molten metal that had been heated to 400 degrees centigrade.

If you have equipment on site that poses a potential risk to your employees, it’s important that you have the correct levels to employers’ liability insurance to cover the business in case of accidents like this.

Presbar Diecastings was investigated by the HSE after the incident and officials discovered that the machine was not fully guarded, which meant access to the ladle was possible. There had already been a risk assessment of the machine that had noted this as a potential problem.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 at Manchester Crown Court.

It was ordered to pay a £140,000 fine, £9,788.56 costs and £120 victim surcharge.

HSE Principal Inspector Mike Sebastian said: “A man suffered life changing injuries which could have been prevented if the machine had been properly guarded. Employers should ensure that they regularly check, assess and review the guarding on their machinery to ensure that all access to dangerous parts is prevented.”