Gloved hand of welder became entangled with drill bit

An engineering form has been sentenced after a worker was injured while operating a drilling machine at premises where the company manufacture equipment for the material handling and logistics sector.

Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court heard that the workman was operating a pedestal drilling machine. He was adjusting the work piece whilst the drill was running when his gloved hand became entangled with the unguarded drill bit. His arm was “pulled around the drill” and broke two bones in right forearm. His injuries resulted in skin graft being required on the arm.

Importance of suitable guarding

The company admitted breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £2,168.73 in costs. Speaking after the hearing HSE said:

“It is vital that companies understand the importance of using suitable guarding when employees are operating drilling machines as there are significant risks involved which may lead to serious personal injury.

Other simple measures such as not wearing gloves can be taken to eliminate the risk of entanglement involved with operating drilling machines or any other machinery with moving/rotating parts.”