30th Mar, 2022 Read time 1 minute

Spring manufacturer fined after worker severs fingers

A  company that manufactures springs has been sentenced after an employee had two fingers of his right hand severed whilst attempting to lubricate a bandsaw.

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how on 2 October 2019, an employee of Hanson Springs Ltd in Rochdale was helping in the cutting department to saw sections of steel spring using a vertical bandsaw when the blade began to squeak and smoke was seen coming from the equipment. After an inspection by the employee identified that the blade was heavily worn, a decision was made to replace it. He attempted to lubricate the new blade, by pressing a cardboard tube of wax onto the exposed section of it whilst it ran. The tube was drawn in, in turn drawing in the worker’s hand, severing part of 2 middle fingers on his right hand.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the worker had received poor quality training from the supervisor in using the machine with no formal competency assessment being carried out. Despite lubrication of the blades in this manner being standard practice within the company, it was unnecessary as the machine was self-lubricating. The worker had been shown how to do this during training in order to cut the time needed for the blade to become greased using the inbuilt lubrication system. Operational management was not aware of this practice and therefore had not put together a safe method for lubricating the blades.

Hanson Springs Ltd of Hanson Place, Lancashire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They were fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,394.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Peter Lennon said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided.
“Employers should ensure they carry out an assessment of the risks and put in safe system of works for the operation of all machinery.”

Brands who we work with

Sign up to our newsletter
Keep up to date with all HSE news and thought leadership interviews