Worker Suffered Serious Burns

A 59 year employee of Meridian Lightweight Technologies was seriously burned when he fell into a furnace at work.  Keith Buckley was working for the die casting firm in Nottingham, removing some of the items placed onto of a magnesium furnace when the incident occurred.  The items had to be removed so the inner lining could come out.  Unfortunately while Mr Buckley carried out his duties he didn’t notice that the tube or pump had been removed, leaving a hole which had only been filled with soft material made from wool.

Wool Was Not the Right Material to Block the Hole

Mr Buckley walked across the furnace and his leg fell through the unprotected hole straight into the furnace.  At the time of the incident the furnace was around 500 degrees. Mr Buckley’s foot was in the magnesium, but he was able to remove his leg thanks to his shoe laces bringing off allowing him to get his foot out of his boot.

As a result of the incident Mr Buckley suffered very serious burns to his leg and his right hand.  He has needed to endure multiple skin grafts and gripping still causes him problems even though it has been over a year since the accident happened. Mr Buckley has been able to return to work, however his duties have been changed and his hours reduced as he is unable to carry out the tasks of his original job.

Safe System of Work Was Being Ignored

The Health and Safety Executive discovered that a safe system of work was in place, but it wasn’t being followed.  The safe system dictated that when the pump and tube was removed a metal plate had to cover the hole. Instead the men were filling it with the woolly material and this was not spotted or monitored by the supervisors, meaning these practices were allowed to carry on until someone was hurt.

Fine for the Die Casting Firm for Failing their Employees

It is all employees’ legal and moral duty to ensure the safety, health and welfare of their employees. The firm were fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6472 for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. If you go to the trouble of training your supervisors it is essential that they keep up the communication, monitor and review those safety measures frequently and ensure your employees safety. Health and safety services such as training or audits can ensure that the right skills are in place, and just having regulations and procedures written down isn’t enough.

If you are concerned about your managers or supervisors contact health and safety consultants to help you ensure they are managing the health and safety of the site effectively. You can conduct audits from time to time to spot where mistakes are being made, and training is the best way to keep your employees up dated on legislation and guidelines. You can contact the health and safety consultants directly on 0800 1488 677.

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One Response to “Worker Suffered Serious Burns”

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