Yorkshire company fined after worker’s arm was crushed

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A Yorkshire engineering company has been fined £120,000 after a worker’s arm was crushed while cleaning a machine.

Paul Madarasz was machining a two-tonne metal plate on a vertical borer on November 2, 2018. The metal cover plate was not sitting flush on the table due to dirt or debris, Leeds Magistrates’ Court was told.

He raised one side using an overhead crane so that he could clean the machine table underneath with a rag. While doing so, the cover plate slipped off the lifting attachment, trapping his arm.

Mr Madarasz needed several long operations for break and crush injuries to his right arm and is unlikely to regain its full function.

An HSE investigation found that there was no safe system of work for this activity. This specific lifting operation and cleaning activity had not been assessed, which resulted in employees using a variety of unsafe methods.

Leeds and Bradford Boiler Co Ltd of Beechwood Street, Stanningley, Leeds pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £120,000 with £7,692 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Andrea Jones said: “Lifting operations and foreseeable activities including cleaning should be properly assessed and planned. “Other employees were also at risk of injury by falling metal plates.

“This incident could so easily have been avoided by using suitable lifting accessories, implementing safe working practices, and ensuring these are followed through appropriate supervision and monitoring.”