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Fine for Metaltech Engineering

15/11/11: An engineering company from Hailsham has been fined for breaching safety protocol.

Metaltech Engineering has been prosecuted by HSE for not preventing access to dangerous elements of a machine or to cease dangerous parts moving prior to employees accessing it.

Eastbourne Court was told that HSE issued a report to Metaltech following their inspection in December 2006 and which revealed that the interlocks which guarded a milling machine had been immobilised. The company was then served with another notice requiring them to monitor the interlocking device.

A further unannounced HSE inspection in June 2011 revealed that an interlocking guard had again been immobilised and that the monitoring system was not being followed; as a result a prohibition notice was issued.

After the hearing a HSE inspector commented that all firms are legally obligated to take robust steps to ensure that access to dangerous elements of machinery is prevented.

The immobilised interlock effectively meant that Metaltech had not provided any safety measures to prevent employees from being exposed to risks of entanglement and crushing on the machine. This may have resulted in a worker suffering a serious injury or much worse. The firm had been provided with sufficient guidance as well as the opportunity to protect their workforce, but they failed to do so.

It is of the utmost importance for employers to make sure that access to machine parts is prevented and that they have effective monitoring systems and supervision in place to ensure that risk control procedures are followed.

Metaltech was fined £12K and received a cost order for almost £4K after pleading guilty to breaching H&S legislation.