Foundry prosecuted after worker severely-injured by bench drill

A Norfolk-based foundry has been fined after a part-time machinist suffered life-changing injuries whilst drilling holes into aluminium castings.

Norwich Crown Court heard how, on 13 February 2017, the worker was working at Moore’s Industrial Estate in Stalham wearing heavy duty gloves as specified by company policy, when her hand came into contact with a moving drill bit. The worker’s hand became entangled with the machinery resulting in severe tendon injuries, and the partial de-gloving and severing of the left thumb.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Edward Flitton, trading as Hever Ironworks, had neither a safe system of work in place for employees using the drilling and tapping machines, nor Employers Compulsory Liability Insurance at the time of the incident. In addition, the incident was not reported to HSE by Edward Flitton but brought to HSE’s attention in September 2017 by a third party.

Edward Flitton of Moores Yard, Stalham, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Regulation 4(1)(b) of the Reporting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 and breaching Regulation 1(1) of the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Regulations 1998. Mr Flitton has been sentenced to a community order of 120 hours of unpaid work and fined £250.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Ivan Brooke said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by implementing appropriate control measures and safe working practices.