Motor’s manufacturing company prosecuted after employee severs finger

An electric motors and gearbox manufacturer has been prosecuted after an employee’s little finger was severed from her right hand.

On 16 September 2019 an employee of Parvalux Electric Motors Limited was injured at their Bournemouth site when she became entangled in an exposed rotating shaft during the final test of a running motor on the production line.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had not identified the risks to their employees from exposed rotating shafts and had not provided suitable guards or safe systems of working.

At Poole Magistrates Court on 8 September, Parvalux Electric Motors Limited of Wallisdown Road, Bournemouth, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety Work Act 1974. They were fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Francesca Arnold said: “The defendant failed to ensure the safety of its employees in the testing of electrical motors.

“This incident could so easily have been prevented by simply putting the correct control measures in place and establishing safe working practices; for example, guarding exposed rotating parts and providing safe working practices.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

HSE
08 September 2022

What we think

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to make a suitable assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees and take action where necessary and where reasonably practicable.

The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 places a duty on Employers to prepare a Risk Assessment and record in writing the significant findings of the risk assessment, where the Company employs five or more people. A risk assessment will not only identify the hazards that exist but it will also highlight any necessary control measures that need to be put in place, including information instruction, training and supervision. A suitable and sufficient risk assessment will include much more and it must be shared with the employees completing the work. Sharing a risk assessment wiith those completing the work can result in additional hazards and other useful feedback that can improve the risk assessment further.

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Wiser Safety can assist with the development of suitable and sufficient risk assessments and Safe Systems of Work. We are also able to provide Toolbox Talks that can be delivered to workers, either in person, via video conferences or they can be delivered electronically.

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