Brick manufacturer fined after health and safety audit

A Worcestershire factory sees a fine after a worker was injured on the job.  The worker sustained multiple injuries in 2009 when a brick packaging line stopped moving. The worker entered the safety zone, climbed up the conveyor belt, and went to fix a problem because the line stopped moving.  The line suddenly started again, causing him to fall and become crushed under the pallet lifter.  His back was injured, several ribs were cracked, and he had bruises on his face and leg.  The incident required him to be off work for six weeks.

The HSE conducted health and safety audits to determine where the fault may have lain with the incident.  It was found that the gate that should have been locked to make certain the machinery could not be accessed was actually disconnected prior to the incident.  This allowed the worker to gain access to a dangerous area.

The company failed to have workstation risk assessments that were adequate for the work area, thus dangerous issues led to an employee being injured.  If one or more issues had been accounted for, the incident may not have happened.  The court hearing the case decided that the company was guilty of safety and health breaches.  A fine has been issued of £20,000 along with £11,600 in costs.  Machinery in any factory has to be properly identified for risks, along with proper training of employees so that worker injuries or worse worker deaths do not occur.