Manchester firm fined following burns incident
An aluminium die-casting company in Manchester has been fined following a guilty plea to a breach of health and safety regulations.
Presbar Diecastings Ltd was fined following an incident that took place on its premises in July 2015. A worker conducted a routine procedure to clear a buildup of metal from an aluminium die-casting machine, when he became trapped by the ladle.
Manchester Crown Court was told that the worker had entered the centre of the machine to clear the blockage between the front bar and the furnace pot. During the procedure, the worker suffered injury because of movements from the robotic arm, and although he tried to avoid contact with it, he became trapped by a ladle. It contained molten metal at a temperature of 400°C, causing the man to suffer fourth degree burns and enter cardiac arrest.
An investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that access had been possible to the ladle as it was only partially guarded, despite a risk assessment having been put in place identifying that contact with the ladle was hazardous. The firm was hit with a £140,000 fine and had to pay costs of just under £10,000. A victim surcharge was also payable, coming to £120.
Principal inspector for HSE, Mike Sebastian, said that the injuries suffered by the worker could have been avoided if a guard had been in place. In addition to a risk assessment, employers should ensure that all PPE and specialist workwear is used where necessary to avoid injury.