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A British company has been prosecuted after an employee was dragged into a machine and injured.

The employee was standing on rollers, cleaning the inside of the machine, when it started unexpectedly. “His left leg was pulled in by the rollers … and he suffered broken bones in his left foot and ankle,” said the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The company, AMR Textiles Limited, was investigated and prosecuted by the HSE.

At the time of the incident the employee’s “colleague inserted an override key to test another part of the equipment but the rollers the worker was standing on also started rotating, pulling in his left leg up to the knee,” the HSE said.

The investigation found the company had given keys to its supervisors to override the interlock guard on the machine, the guard had not been maintained and the guard wasn’t working at the time of the incident.

Since the incident the company had taken the override keys from the supervisors and replaced the machine, said the HSE.

The company pleaded guilty in the Trafford Magistrates’ Court to breaching the UK Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The company was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £10,103 in prosecution costs.

For more details visit the UK HSE.

Published on 16 January 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

Following significant increases in work injuries footwear and clothing retailers are under scrutiny in Western Australia.

During 2011–12 lost time injuries at footwear retailers doubled compared to those in 2009–10, WorkSafe Director Joe Attard said in a media statement.

Two-thirds of these injuries were serious (resulting in five days or more off work).

Injuries at clothing retailers also increased significantly, with a 33 per cent rise in lost time injuries in 2011–12, Attard said.

Three-quarters of these injuries were serious or severe (resulting in 60 days or more off work).

Attard said WHS inspectors are targeting manual tasks, slips, trips and falls and falls from heights in both retail sectors during 2013–14.

They are also scrutinising security measures for cash handling and hold-ups, workplace facilities, personal protective equipment, emergency procedures, new and young workers, electricity and hazardous substances/chemicals.

Meanwhile, automotive repairers are also under scrutiny.

Inspectors are targeting hazardous substances, electricity, manual tasks, training of new and young workers, machinery guarding and slips, trips and falls.

Spray booth safety, personal protective equipment, emergency procedures, mobile plant, health surveillance and pressure vessels are also a focus.

For more details, visit the WorkSafe inspection program regarding retailing and automotive repairs.

Published on 15 August 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

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