Corus UK has been fined £5,000 after a worker severely injured his leg, while trying to clear a jam in a machine.
Team leader David Harrison was working on the mill floor rolling steel into long beams at the Corus Special Profiles factory in Skinningrove, East Cleveland when the accident happened in May 2008. The then 41-year old was attempting to clear a jam in the machine, which also required an operator activating controls above the mill floor. Harrison was struck by the moving machinery when the operator was unable to see him and instructions were relayed to him by shouting and hand signals via a third man.
HSE inspector Bruno Porter said: This incident could have easily been avoided, but instead has left Mr Harrison with a badly injured leg for which he still needs medical help.
While Corus was aware of the hazards and had implemented safe operating procedures to deal with some of the risks, it failed to install a full safe isolation system, which had been identified as necessary prior to the incident.
Porter also explained that relaying instructions through a third person as common practice on the mill floor, as radios were not always available and the noise in the factory made them hard to use. Additionally, while clearing jams from machinery was common practice at the plant, there was no record of suitable and sufficient risk assessment for it and no recorded safe system of work in place.
Corus was ordered to pay costs if £5,074 plus a £15 victim surcharge. Teesside Magistrates Court found it guilty of breaching Health and Safety regulations for not ensuring the health, safety and welfare at work of an employee and for not making suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks its employee is exposed to at work.