Machine Operator Injured After Safety Mechanism Is Disabled
|A component engineering company in Cheltenham has been fined after an employee suffered head injuries on a machine that had a safety mechanism deliberately disabled.
Grzegorz Chylenski, 33, from Cheltenham, was working with a Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machine at PG Components Ltd at the time of the incident on 22 August last year.
Cheltenham Magistrates' Court heard when Mr Chylenski reached into the open CNC machine to retrieve a dropped component, he was struck on the head by moving parts, suffering a fractured jaw and cuts to his face and ear.
On the day of the incident, the CNC machine had been programmed by one of the directors of PG Components and was running on a short cycle. The enclosed machine is fitted with a manufacturer's safety function that stops the machine running when its doors are opened. However, an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the safety mechanism had been disabled.
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Bypassing the manufacturer's safety mechanism and operating the machine with the doors open allows for a quicker more efficient cycle, but poses a risk to the operator and anyone reaching inside.
PG Components (Cheltenham) Ltd, of Unit 1B, The Runnings, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £11,200 and ordered to pay £2,777.60 in costs and compensation to the injured party of £2,500.
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