First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
The operator of a Scottish quarry has been fined £30,000 after an employee was seriously injured when his hand and arm were caught in a conveyor belt.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) imposed the fine on MacAulay Askernish Limited in relation to an incident at Askernish Quarry on the Isle of South Uist, Outer Hebrides.
Lochmaddy Sherriff Court heard how the accident occurred on November 2 2016 while employees of MacAulay Askernish were undertaking maintenance work at the quarry on the conveyor belt of a screener unit that was slipping. One of the workers, Donald Campbell, was leaning through the opening in the conveyor frame when his hand was pulled into the nip point between the drive drum and conveyor belt. His arm quickly became entangled in the mechanism, causing severe injury, permanent disfigurement and impairment.
An investigation by the HSE, which regulates workplace health and safety in the UK, found the guarding of the screener unit was not adequate. The investigation also found the company failed to have in place a suitable procedure for the isolation of the screener unit and to ensure the unit was maintained in good repair as other guard panels were not in place.
Macaulay Askernish Limited of Hillside Office, Lochboisdale, Isle of South Uist, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(1) of the Quarries Regulations 1999.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Mike Tetley said: “This injury was easily preventable and the risks from this type of equipment are well-known.
“Companies operating belt conveyors must ensure access has been prevented to dangerous parts and that guards are properly maintained. Having a secure isolation procedure in place is also an essential control when undertaking maintenance work.”