Firm fined after man suffers horrific injuries cleaning machine

An Aberdeen joinery and manufacturing company has been fined £9,400 after one of its workers suffered horrific injuries while cleaning a machine.

Brian Strachan was working for Hall & Tawse Joinery Limited, a manufacturer of timber windows and doors, at their premises on Granitehill Road on 1 November 2018.  The then 41-year-old was conducting a thorough clean of a UV Lacquer Line machine prior to its use in a production run later that day.

During this process, Mr. Strachan, who is now 46, noticed lacquer hanging from the lid of the machine and reached for it as he turned to the control panel to isolate the machine. However, as he did so, the glove on the little finger of his right hand got caught in the moving rollers, causing his arm to become entangled and trapped within the machine.

This resulted in his right forearm being crushed between the rollers and he underwent surgery that day for ‘degloving’ injuries that he had suffered from his elbow to his hand.  His injuries required multiple surgeries to treat and reconstruct his forearm with skin grafts and he ended up spending 13 days in hospital.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the machine’s rollers continued rotating when Mr. Strachan opened the lid which demonstrated that the interlock device was not working on the day of the accident. The device was found to be defeated (with the fastenings of the actuator unbolted and the actuator stuck within the switch).

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