Medical firm fined by court after two workers injured

A manufacturer of medical equipment has been fined £8,000 (with an additional £6,820 to be paid in costs) after two of the firm’s workers were injured in separate incidents at its West Sussex premises.

Welland Medical Ltd, based in High Wycombe, was served with the fine by Worthing Magistrates’ Court after admitting two breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Evidence against Welland Medical was provided by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), following an investigation which established that the two separate incidents had been caused by guarding failures on the firm’s industrial machines.

In June 2011, an employee’s finger was fractured after his hand was pulled between two rollers, which would not have happened if guarding had been in place to cover the moving parts.

A second incident occurred in September 2013, when another worker sustained cuts to her hand, after it became trapped between a fixed and a moving machinery part, as she attempted to clear a blockage.

The HSE found that interlocks on Welland Medical’s machines had been overridden, and they therefore issued two improvement notices to ensure guarding around potentially dangerous components was added.

Following the court hearing, HSE inspector Stephen Green said: “Although the injuries sustained to these workers were relatively minor, they could have been much worse.

“This type of incident is still far too common despite the fact that workers have lost limbs, been disabled and, in the most severe cases, even lost their life because of inadequate or missing guarding.”

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Nigel is the Managing Partner and Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution in the London office of Mackrell Turner Garrett.