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£60k fine for metal manufacturer after worker injured in vibro-charger machine accident

A metal manufacturer has been fined for safety breaches after a worker got trapped by large machinery.

Poole Magistrates Court heard how 37-year-old Darren Rose, an employee of Eurac Poole Limited sustained a double bone fracture of left forearm and internal stomach injuries whilst assisting a colleague in releasing a scrapped casting from a vibro-charger machine, which was used to sort scrap before charging a furnace at the company site in Poole, Dorset. Rose was operating an electromagnet which itself became stuck or wedged in the vibro-charger as they tried to free the casting. In trying to free the magnet, the vibro-charger was lifted off its running rails and swung towards Rose and struck him, crushing him against a metal guard rail by one of the furnaces.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the jamming of vibro-chargers was foreseeable, and operatives had evolved their own approaches to dealing with the jams. The jamming problem had never been fully identified by management as an issue and so no specific risk assessment or procedure had been carried out.

Eurac Poole Limited of Manning Heath Road, Dorset pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2642:30.