Engineering firm fined in drill related work accident claim

One engineering firm was recently fined in court in a work accident claim after one of its workers suffered a serious hand injury from an unguarded drill.

Michael O’Brien is no longer able to move three of the fingers on his left hand in the wake of the incident, according to his accident claim.  His injury claims originated from an event in December 2009 at a Leyland construction site.

The 60-year-old Clitheroe native had a four-day hospital stay as a result of his injuries.  Mr O’Brien also needed several skin grafts to repair the damage done to his hand.  His injuries have also precluded him from returning to work.

The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted Jex Engineering Company Ltd for neglecting to ensure the drill had the proper safety features provided for it.  Leyland’s South Ribble Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr O’Brien had been maimed by the drill in the course of installing machinery in a new factory location for the company.

After an investigation, the HSE found that the engineering company had neglected to notice the missing drill guard both when it hired the equipment and when it had been issued to Mr O’Brien.  An assessment form also indicated incorrectly that the drill had been fitted with such a guard, discovered HSE investigators.

After pleading guilty in court to breaching Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, Jex Engineering Company Ltd was fined £4,000.  The firm was ordered to pay costs of £3,250 as well.

After the legal action concluded, Mr O’Brien commented that he had only been working for Jex Engineering for a few days when the incident happened.  He expressed his frustration with the company in not having proper health and safety practices in place to prevent injuries such as the one he sustained.

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