An engineering firm was penalized after one of its employees’ hairs became entangled in a pillar drill, causing scalping injuries.
On 10 September 2019, a P&D Engineering Limited employee’s scalp and part of her ear were torn off after her ponytail became twisted around a whirling drill, according to Coventry Magistrates’ Court. She underwent nine surgeries including skin grafts to reconstruct her scalp in the months following the tragedy. Her ear had to be amputated as well.
The rotating elements of the drill were not guarded in accordance with conventional industry practice, according to an examination by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The investigation also discovered that while P&D Engineering Limited’s own risk assessment for utilizing the drill recommended that a guard be installed, evidence uncovered revealed that the drill had been used without one for several years.
P&D Engineering Limited, of Crondall Road, Exhall, Coventry, clearly violated Section 2 (1) of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act. They were fined £62,334 and were forced to pay £1,459.90 in costs.
“This tragedy could have been avoided so easily by just carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices,” HSE inspector Charlotte Cunniffe said after the hearing.
Companies should be aware that if they fall short of the acceptable quality, HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate legal action.”