Hailsham: Firm fined £12,000 for safety breaches

Metaltech Precision Engineers of Diplocks way Hailsham
Metaltech Precision Engineers of Diplocks way Hailsham

A HAILSHAM engineering firm has been fined thousands for committing a number of safety breaches.

Metaltech Precision Engineers Ltd, a precision engineering company, was fined for failing to prevent access to dangerous parts on one of its machines, even after several warnings, at its site in Diplocks Way.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) took action after identifying a problem on three separate inspections over the space of five years.

Eastbourne Magistrates Court heard that on December 12, 2006, Metaltech was issued with an instant visit report following an HSE inspection which found the interlocks guarding a CNC milling machine had been disabled.

On March 31, 2009, an unannounced inspection once again found that interlocking guards had been disabled and the firm was served with an Improvement Notice that required the introduction of a monitoring system to ensure that the interlocks on the machines were working.

During an unannounced inspection on the June 23, 2011, the HSE inspector witnessed that an interlocking guard on a machine had again been disabled and the system put in place to monitor them was not being followed. A Prohibition Notice was served.

HSE’s Inspector David Swaite said, “All companies have a legal duty to ensure they take robust measures to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery.

“The disabled interlock meant that Metaltech had provided no effective measures to prevent employees from being exposed to risks of crushing and entanglement on the CNC machine.

“This could have resulted in an employee sustaining serious injuries or worse.

“This company was given ample guidance and opportunity to protect the safety of their workers and prevent legal action, but failed to do so.”

The HSE fined the firm for preventing access to dangerous parts of machinery and not having effective supervision and monitoring systems to ensure that risk control measures were being followed.

Metaltech pleaded guilty to an offence under 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The firm was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,978.