Belfast Telegraph

Electrician's foot got trapped in machinery after guard removed

A Co Antrim firm and a sub-contractor have been fined after an electrical contractor had his foot trapped in equipment
A Co Antrim firm and a sub-contractor have been fined after an electrical contractor had his foot trapped in equipment

By Staff Reporter

A Co Antrim firm and a sub-contractor have been fined after an electrical contractor had his foot trapped in equipment.

The man, who was self-employed, sustained serious injuries at its premises, Enva Toomebridge Limited — formerly known as Clearcircle Environmental (NI) Ltd — after the incident involving a hydraulic-powered compactor known as a Briquetter.

The company was fined £1,500 after pleading guilty at Magherafelt Magistrates Court to Article 5(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (NI) Order 1978.

Arising out of the same incident, Declan Quinn, a self-employed maintenance contractor, was fined £500 after pleading guilty to Article 5(2) of the Health and Safety at Work (NI) Order 1978.

The guard on the hydraulic ram had been removed by Mr Quinn when he was investigating a potential fault.

During a period when Mr Quinn was not present the injured person returned to complete other work. The unguarded ram of the Briquetter machine started automatically and began to crush his left foot causing severe injuries. He was trapped for approximately 45 minutes.

HSENI inspector Martin Rafferty said: “The investigation found that Mr Quinn and Enva Toomebridge Limited failed to take appropriate measures to ensure maintenance operations on work equipment were undertaken safely and without risk to others.

“Many accidents occur during maintenance work. Effective control measures must be taken to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery. This includes the use of suitable means of isolation to ensure work equipment has been disconnected from all power sources and any residual power removed.”

Enva Toomebridge said: “Enva makes safety the top priority in every site. Whilst we regret the 2017 incident this investigation refers to, we were pleased that the magistrate recognised significant improvements since the Enva takeover of the company in February 2019.”

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