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Pirelli in court over injuries at Carlisle tyre factory

Photo shows the machine which caused the workers injuries

Tyre manufacturer Pirelli has appeared in court after an employee sustained major injuries to his left arm when it became trapped in a tyre-testing machine.

The 57-year-old from Carlisle, who has asked not to be named, broke his arm in three places, was off work for four months and still has difficulty moving his shoulder following the incident on 3 January 2012.

Pirelli Tyres Ltd. was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found that the safety procedures for carrying out maintenance work on the machine were poor.

Carlisle Magistrates' Court heard the worker was trying to fix a fault on the machine, which lubricates, inflates and then measures tyres, which occurred when it was switched back on following the Christmas shutdown.

He switched it to manual mode and removed one of the guards to repair the fault in the lubricating part of the machine. The employee then returned the machine to automatic mode and it processed two tyres successfully before becoming struck again.

Without thinking, he reached back into the machine which then began operating, trapping his arm.

The HSE investigation found that the fault had occurred several times in the past after the machine was restarted following previous Christmas shutdowns, but Pirelli had failed to carry out a specific risk assessment for this maintenance work.

There was also limited supervision of the maintenance employees, general knowledge of the company's written health and safety procedures was poor, and there was no system in place to check that the company's Safe Working Procedures guidelines were being followed in practice.

Pirelli Tyres Ltd., of Derby Road in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £4,330 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 on 21 August 2013.


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