Health and Safety Consultancy Services for SMEs in Birmingham, West Midlands and beyond

No Excuse for Unguarded Machinery
Posted by David Cant on September 17, 2012

Operating machinery is known to pose many risks for workers and those around them. Guards are used to protect the operators from gaining access to the dangerous parts of the machines. When these guards are removed the risks of injury increase dramatically and therefore it is essential they are always fitted and in place.

Strength of Machine Lifted Man off His Feet

One engineering firm based in Coventry has recently been fined for failing to ensure the safety guards were in place. An unnamed employee was injured while working at MNB Precision back in 2011. As he worked the machine to cut a component he wanted to examine the cut so he reached over with his arm. Unfortunately his sleeve was caught in some of the rotating parts inside the machine. As his clothing got caught he was thrown over the top of the machined and left suspended as his belt was trapped on the component.

The injuries sustained by the 56 year old worker included bruising and cuts to his arms, back and leg. He was able to return to work for about one month after the incident yet he no longer works for the firm. The Health and Safety Executive investigated the accident and they discovered that the machine that was being used had been on site for about 15 years, and in that time it had never been fitted with a guard.

Guilty Plea for Breaching Regulations

The firm pleaded guilty for breaching regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations. They were fined £18,000 and told they had to pay the full costs amounting to £3,356.  Matthew Whitaker, an inspector from the HSE said that it was lucky that the injured man had not been killed as incidents similar to the one at MNB Precision often end in fatalities. All employees must be protected from the moving parts of machines that are dangerous. Guards are easy to install and use and therefore there are no excuses not to have them in place.

Avoid Accidents by Using Safety Guards

In the past five years 31 people have died after accident in the manufacturing industries. There are ways to help to reduce the risks that are required to be carried out and maintained by law. If you want to make sure your employees are kept safe at work it is a good idea to review your health and safety policies and conduct regular health and safety audits to show what’s working, and what areas are failing.

Get Help from Professional and Improve Your Health and Safety Policies

Don’t wait for an accident before you make changes. They can end lives and result in huge fines and even prison sentences. Health and safety consultants are available to help you. There are many health and safety services available including audits, training and risk assessments. To request more help and information for your workplace contact our friendly trained advisors on 0800 1488 677 for immediate assistance.


Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME's favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick.

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This post has been filed in: Construction health and safety, Health and Safety at Work, Health and Safety Services, Workplace Health and Safety

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