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Bristol machining company fined after employee suffers serious injuries

A Brislington-based machining company has been prosecuted for failing to adequately guard dangerous parts of machinery resulting in a worker suffering serious head and chest injuries.

On 11 June 2012, Bristol Magistrates Court heard that 34 year old Ian Spicer, from Hartcliffe in Bristol, was operating a Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) lathe machine at Mil Tu Fit Engineering Ltd. when the incident happened on 30 August 2011.

During an investigation, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that the company had two CNC lathes on site, one intended for machining short parts only and another with a bar feed attachment and guard designed for machining longer parts. Because the machine for longer parts was already in use, Mr Spicer was instructed to use the lathe without the bar feed attachment to machine long metal bars at roughly 2.5 metres in length. As the machine was operating, the bar became unstable and began to bend under its own weight. As Mr. Spicer turned to see what was happening, he was struck by the bar which threw him to the ground and knocked him unconscious.

Mr. Spicer sustained a compressed skull fracture, which had partly shattered and concaved his skull, leaving fragments resting on his brain. He also suffered wide gashes to his chest, a dislodged breast plate, broken wrist, and several other smaller wounds on his body.

Mil Tu Fit Engineering Ltd., of 246 Broomhill Road, Brislington, Bristol, BS4 5RG, was found guilty of breaching Regulation 11(1)(a) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay £3,632 in costs.


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