Newcastle firm fined after worker impaled
A Newcastle under Lyme mineral company has been fined after an employee suffered multiple injuries when he was impaled on spikes on an industrial hopper grill.Simon Lowe, 30, sustained serious injuries including deep puncture wounds, internal bleeding, a broken pelvis, fractured spine and lacerated tendons in his thumb when he fell onto spikes attached to the hopper grill.The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Dupre Minerals Ltd, of Spencroft Road, after its investigation found that employees had been left to devise their own systems of work and there were inadequate control measures to prevent them from climbing onto the hopper.Fenton Magistrates’ Court heard that on 17 July 2010, Mr Lowe climbed onto the grill of the feed hopper and attempted to empty a bag of the mineral vermiculite into it. He fell and impaled himself on the spikes positioned on the hopper’s grid, used to rip open the bags.The firm pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined and ordered to pay costs.Almost one year after the incident, Mr Lowe is still being treated for his injuries and has not yet returned to work.Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Wayne Owen said:”Mr Lowe’s injuries were such that his hospital consultant told him he was lucky to be alive.”This incident could have been Louboutin Shoes prevented if the company had carried out a suitable risk assessment and then implemented the findings.”For example, employees were not given sufficient training on how to load the hopper with bagged material. This led to employees being left to devise their own systems of work somethi Louboutin Shoes ng they shouldn’t have to do.”The system of work could have been altered to eliminate the need to u Louboutin Shoes nload bags of material at height, while fitting fencing to the rear of the hopper would have stopped anyone from getting onto the hopper.”The activities which led to the incident had been ongoing for some time, yet management failed to properly monitor the pra Louboutin Shoes ctices of their workforce and detect these clearly unsafe activities.”Notes to editorsThe Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce death, injury and ill health.Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states that “every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work”Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”.