Company Fined £200K Following Failure to Carry out Safety Checks

In August 2017 a driver lost his left arm in a rotating auger when delivering a trailer load of grain in Ripon. The HSE investigation discovered a malfunction of a safety interlock and the Yorkshire-based haulage company was fined £200K for breaching Regulation 11(3) of PUWER, stating that any device installed to stop the movement of dangerous machinery must be in efficient working order and in good repair.

When part of the grain load tipped onto the floor of the shed through the open rear door of the trailer the driver walked to the rear of the trailer, lost his footing and put his hand out to steady himself. However his left arm came into contact with the rotating auger (a chute with a rotating screw used to move the grain) and was drawn in, causing serious injuries.

The HSE investigation found that an interlock device, which prevents part of a machine from operating under specified conditions (such as when a guard is not closed) was not functioning at the time of the incident. In addition, the emergency stop device for the grain discharge mechanism failed to function, as it was operated through the same circuitry.

HSE Inspector Julian Franklin commented,"The trailer was fitted with a safety system to prevent exactly this type of incident; it could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out regular checks to ensure safety devices and systems remain working. This is something that many hauliers already do as part of their vehicle checks."

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