A Bradford man faces having his lower leg amputated after incurring injuries over a year ago caused by safety failures at metal packaging firm Emballator UK.
Yesterday the city’s magistrates were told how on February 6, last year, 51-year-old David Wain, a coating assistant at the plant which manufactures tin cans, suffered serious injuries when a 1.5 tonne pallet of tin plates fell onto his right lower leg and foot.
Mr Wain had been told to use an older machine, despite having no experience of it, to turn the bulk tin plate because a fault had developed on the modern pallet turner he was accustomed to using.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident which occurred at Emballator UK’s Bradford site and identified a number of safety failings.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £3,769 in full costs.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector Andrea Jones said: “Everyone has the right to come home from work safe and well. But David Wain suffered life-changing injuries in an incident that was preventable.
Ms Jones added Emballator failed in their duties to provide a suitable machine for turning pallets and a safe method of operation that Mr Wain could use.
“A proper examination of the risks would have shown that there was a danger of the load shifting and falling from the machine, during or after turning. A simple clamping mechanism would have secured it, and was indeed applied to the newer machine,” she said.
“It is also essential that checks are made by managers to ensure operators are trained and competent to use the machines they provide, understand the risks and associated precautions to take.”
The latest statistics from HSE for 2011/12 show that there were 31 deaths, more than 3,400 major injuries and some 14,000 minor injuries recorded within the manufacturing industries. For advice and information go to www.hse.gov.uk/manufacturing.