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West Yorkshire company failed to safeguard workers

Photo shows some of Mr Cisarik’s clothing wound around the CNC machine tool and the size of the machine insideA West Yorkshire engineering firm has been fined after a worker was badly injured when he became entangled in a rotating machine tool that caught him by the neck.

Mr Tomas Cisarik, 33, suffered a deep gash running 20cms long and 8cms wide on his back, a cracked foot bone and severe friction burns from his neck, down his left arm to his wrist. His clothes were literally ripped from his back.

On 13 June 2012, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted P. Craven Engineering Co. Ltd., of Batley, for serious safety failings after investigating the incident at their Heckmondwike factory on 7 September 2011.

Huddersfield Magistrates’ Court was told that Mr. Cisarik, from Dewsbury, had pre-programmed one of the firm’s CNC machines for a short warm-up cycle where the machine tool would rotate at around 300rpm.

He returned later and went inside to clean up the metal shavings. As he entered the machine, he felt a pull on his neck and his clothes were ripped from the top half of his body. A colleague heard a loud bang and Mr. Cisarik’s screaming and saw he had been pulled into the machine and was trying to climb out of a side door.

The court was told that if the safety interlocks had been working, the machine would have stopped as Mr. Cisarik entered the machine. Instead the safety interlocks had been intentionally disabled as the key had been placed into the main switch on an opposite door. This wrongly signalled that the machine door was closed, but in fact allowed it to run with the doors open, giving unguarded access to dangerous machinery.

Following the incident, HSE served four Prohibition Notices on the company preventing further use of the CNC and three other machines because of inadequate guarding of dangerous equipment. Interlock switches on two other CNC machines were found to be broken.

P. Craven Engineering Co. Ltd. of Woodlands Road, Batley, admitted contravening the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 at the factory in Walkley Lane, Heckmondwike. They were fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £2,302 in costs.


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