28/09/2012

Company Fined After Employee Loses Arm

A County Armagh plastics company has been fined after a 20-year-old employee lost his arm while working at on the factory floor.

Clarehill Plastics Ltd. received the £8,000 fine following an investigation by inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI).

The incident occurred last January when employee Justin Guiney was carrying out maintenance on a machine at the company’s Moira factory.

Part of Mr Guiney’s clothing became caught in the mechanism and he was pulled into the machine, causing his arm to be amputated at his shoulder.

Clarehill Plastics Ltd. admitted breaches of health and safety laws.

The HSENI investigation found gear wheel guards in the machine had been removed some months previous to the incident and had never been replaced.

The investigation also concluded no suitable measures had been taken to ensure the machine could be used safely.

Following the hearing, HSENI inspector Jonathan Knox said: "The results of this avoidable incident will be experienced by this young man for the rest of his life.

"One in three workplace deaths are caused by maintenance failures. It is essential that companies take suitable measures to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery."

He added: "In addition to this, machinery should be switched off and secured so that it remains off until work is complete and employees are away from any danger."

At a previous hearing, Clarehill Plastics Ltd pleaded guilty to breaches of Article 4 of the Health and Safety at Work Order (NI) 1978 and Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (NI) 1999.

The company was also ordered to pay £1,500 in legal costs.

(IT)

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