Railcare Ltd were fined £133,000 at Glasgow Sheriff Court on 8 February 2012 for a breach of Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. This case arose following the death of an employee at their Glasgow site who sustained fatal head injuries whilst working on an axle lathe that had an unguarded chuck.
The axle lathe was around 25 years old and although it did not come with interlocking guarding, appropriate guarding was available for its dangerous parts and should have been in use. The unguarded chuck was spinning in an anticlockwise direction at 600 rpm when the employee came into contact with it.
The Health and Safety Executive’s investigation revealed a number of company failings including a lack of suitable and sufficient risk assessments, a failure to implement a safe system of work, and a failure to provide adequate training and supervision of the axle lathe.
This case shows that it is of crucial importance that employers carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessments, that safe systems of work are in place and in particular, that dangerous machinery parts are properly guarded.
On February 14, 2012