Worker suffered life changing injuries

Worker suffered life changing injury due to overridden safety mechanisms

A worker suffered a shattered kneecap (a life changing injury) after a rotating chuck from a CNC lathe machine struck his leg at Sigma Techonologies Ltd in Bradford.

The foot pedal that operated the jaws of the chuck was faulty and the machine's safety mechanism had been overridden. The company had allowed the machines to be operated with the guard open for some time.

HSE inspector Andrea Jones commented: "The risks associated with CNC machines include entanglement with rotating parts or ejection of components resulting in serious injuries. The safe guarding principles of CNC machines are well established.
"It is essential that CNC machines are only operated for setting purposes with the guards open on a limited speed and limited functionality programme. Overriding the safety mechanisms should never be allowed by management or supervisors."

Sigma technologies Ltd of Dockfield Road, Shipley, was fined £31,500 with £2,222.10 costs by Leeds Magistrates Court.

For more information see HSE's article.

HSE also has specific guides relating to this: Health and Safety in Engineering Workshops and The use of emery cloth on metalworking lathes.