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HSE Fine Tyneside Company for Lack of Equipment Training

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HSE Fine Tyneside Company for Lack of Equipment Training

An autoparts company – Faltec Europe Ltd – based in Tyneside, have been fined after a member of staff lost control of a compressed air hose that then whipped him in the face, resulting in the loss of sight in one eye. The incident took place on the 7th July 2012 at Faltec Europe Ltd’s site in Boldon.

The Incident

The injured worker had been asked to conduct maintenance work cleaning a paint fume filter, and once complete, he isolated the compressed air supply he had been using at the collection point and continued to disconnect the equipment. But, due to inadequate training, the worker did not know that the pressure in the flexible hose should have been vented before he disconnected it. This meant that the hose whipped up and hit his face and eye with such pressure that he lost his sight and broke his cheekbone.

Although the man is now blind in one eye he has been able to return to work, but he will be permanently affected by his injury for the rest of his life.

The HSE investigation

When the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident, they found that Faltec Europe Ltd had been at fault. They found that the company had failed to provide the injured worker with sufficient information, instruction or training on the equipment he was expected to use to carry out his job that day, which is why he incorrectly vented the hose, causing the accident.

The incident was investigated by the HSE, which today (10 June) prosecuted Faltec Europe Ltd for safety failings at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

Faltec Europe Ltd pleaded guilty to the failings as a breach of 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and were fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £7,813.70 in costs.

The HSE stated that the accident would have been easily and entirely preventable as the sudden release of compressed air is a well-known hazard in industry that Faltec Europe Ltd should have protected their workers from. They had a responsibility to ensure that a safe system of work was in place, which included making sure that anyone who was required to work with a compressed air supply had sufficient information, instruction and training that would allow them to identify the hazard and protect themselves from it.

HST Training

Here at HST Ltd we can offer a range of training courses tailored to meet the needs of our learners and the companies that employ them. So whether you work with dangerous machinery such as forklift trucks and cherry pickers, or hazardous equipment such as abrasive wheels and cutting discs, contact us to find out more about our safety training that could protect your workers from injuries, and your company from prosecution by the HSE.

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