West Midlands welding firm fined over worker injury

A Bilston engineering company has been sentenced after a worker was injured while operating a drilling machine.

Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Deimantas Beinoras, a 23-year-old Lithuanian national was injured while working for KV Welding Limited, which manufactures equipment for the material handling and logistics sector.

Mr Beinoras was operating a pedestal drilling machine to drill holes into some box section tubing. He was adjusting the work piece while the drill was still 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.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuting, told the court that injuries could have been prevented if the drill was guarded with a telescopic guard covering the rotating drill bit, the injured person had not been wearing gloves, a suitable and sufficient risk assessment had been completed to identify required control measures and if the employee had received proper training.

KV Welding Limited of Perry Street, Bradley, Bilston 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 inspector Richard Littlefair 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.”