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Staffordshire farming firm fined £40k after worker loses arm

A HSE investigation led to a Staffordshire farming firm charged over £40,000 with fines and legal fees after a worker lost his arm cleaning a potato grading machine.


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W.B. Daw & Son was charged a combined total of £40,000 with fines and legal fees
W.B. Daw & Son was charged a combined total of £40,000 with fines and legal fees

Staffordshire firm, W.B. Daw & Son has been fined for safety failings after a worker had to have his arm amputated when it was caught in the rollers of a potato grading machine in November, 2013.

 

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found there were unsafe systems of work being used, which led to the incident involving 35-year-old, Marek Wasilewski.

 

Mr Wasilewski was trying to clean the rollers on a potato grading machine, when the rollers drew his left arm into the machinery up to his shoulder.

 

The machine had to be dismantled to release his arm but the crush injuries were so severe it had to be amputated at the shoulder.

 

W.B. Daw & Son or Rugeley, Staffordshire, was fined a total of £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £25,000 after being found guilty of breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act, and Regulation 3.1.a of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.

 

After the case, HSE Inspector David Brassington said: “Incidents of this kind are all too common and generally have serious consequences.

 

"The onus is on employers to ensure suitable and sufficient risk assessments are undertaken for work activities involving exposure to dangerous parts of machinery, and to make sure that robust safe systems of work are implemented to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery.

 

“This incident could have easily been avoided had the machine been switched off and securely isolated before cleaning work started. But W B Daw & Son had failed to give clear instructions to its employees and failed to monitor their activities, so a series of unsafe methods of cleaning the potato grader had developed.

 

“The employer’s failings led to this young man having his arm amputated and he and his family will now have to cope with those serious, life-changing injuries.”

 

 


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