Safety guards deliberately defeated
A north east engineering firm has been fined for deliberately compromising the safety guards, including the sliding door interlocking guards, for production reasons on a number of Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines including machining centres, milling machines and drilling machines.
During a visit the HSE inspector found that interlocks had been deliberately defeated on three CNC machining centres and a CNC milling machine and the interlock was broken on a CNC drilling machine, effectively allowing employees to access dangerous parts of the machines during automatic CNC operations leading to a risk of serious injury. The company had previously been served with HSE Improvement Notices following an inspection in 2008 and a letter sent in 2012 highlighting similar issues. The company pleaded guilty to breaching section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £13,500 with £1,439.10 costs.