Roofing firm fined after worker injured by machinery

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Roofing and insulation firm IKO Plc has been prosecuted after a worker suffered arm injuries while at work.

Graeme Myers, 48, from Belper, who was self-employed, was lubricating a chain on an auto-plant machine at Prospect Quarry in Matlock on 2 July 2014 when he reached over a fence at the end of the machine. The machine was still running and the pusher block used to transport empty trays moved forward striking his arm.

Mr Myers required immediate surgery to close the wound to his arm and he has been left with muscle loss and nerve damage. He was unable to work for three months.

Chesterfield Magistrates Court heard that the fence height should have been enough to prevent access to the pusher block and other dangerous parts of the machine. However when IKO Plc moved the machine from its previous location it failed to identify the change in floor level which reduced the height of the guard, allowing access to the dangerous parts.

IKO Plc of Appley Bridge, Wigan pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11 (1) of The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and were fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2331.21 and a victim surcharge of £120.

Speaking after the hearing, Health and Safety Executive Inspector Lyn Spooner said: “This was a very simple case where IKO Plc had overlooked the conditions of its new site in its risk assessment and as a result failed to identify the reduced height of the fence guard, allowing access to dangerous parts of the machine. It was an obvious risk, and as a result one their workers was seriously injured.

“Companies must prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery in order to prevent serious injury and in cases like this there are often simple measures that could and should have been taken to prevent the accident occurring ”