A Preston engineering firm has been fined £17,000 and ordered to pay £12,251 in costs after a worker was killed when he became entangled in a lathe.
Michael Lohaza, 45, had worked for Autoy Ltd. for 28 years. The company supplies metal components to the aerospace, automotive, nuclear and other industries. Mr Lohaza was working alone in a small building next to the main workshop, cutting a one-metre-long screw on the lathe. The screw was rotating approximately 200 times a minute when the accident occurred.
Following a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation, Autoy Ltd. was prosecuted for failing to ensure Mr Lohaza’s safety and for failing to assess the risks posed to workers while operating lathes.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
HSE Inspector Michael Clarke said, “The risk of entanglement on lathes is well known in the engineering industry, which is why trained machine operators are required to wear suitable clothing. Those with long hair should be told to have it securely fastened and out of harm’s way.
“Autoy was unable to demonstrate it had assessed the risks faced by employees working alone on the lathe. It should have made sure all workers, including Michael, wore suitable clothing while operating the lathe. If they had taken this action then Michael might still be alive today.”
A significant number of reported injuries in the manufacturing industry are caused by contact with moving machinery. For guidance on health and safety in the manufacturing sector, see http://www.hse.gov.uk/manufacturing/index.htm