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Concrete products manufacturer fined for placing employees at risk

Colinwell Masonry Products have been fined £1,000 for failing to ensure the safety of their employees
Colinwell Masonry Products have been fined £1,000 for failing to ensure the safety of their employees

Colinwell Masonry Products fined £1,000 for unguarded access to dangerous machinery

FOLLOWING an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI), a Dunmurry-based company, Colinwell Masonry Products Ltd, has been fined for failing to ensure the safety of its employees.

Yesterday, at Lisburn Magistrates Court, the company was fined £1,000 after pleading guilty to a single health and safety offence in relation to Article 4(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978.

 

The Court heard that on 24 May 2023, during an HSENI inspection of the premises, three separate locations where employees were able to access dangerous moving parts of machines and equipment were identified.

HSENI Inspector Kevin Campbell said: ‘Employers have a legal duty to ensure employees and others are not put at risk from unguarded machinery.

‘Serious incidents can result where workers are able to access dangerous areas as a result of safety features not being adequately maintained, or where they have been intentionally bypassed.

‘HSENI will not hesitate to recommend the prosecution of companies who repeatedly fail to provide safe working conditions for their employees.’

According to HSENI, access gates to on-site machinery did not have effective safety interlocking mechanisms in place, which are designed to stop the machines from operating when the gates were opened. One gate lacked any interlocked safety feature, whilst on the other two gates, the interlock mechanism was defeated or broken.

The absence of effective safety interlocking mechanisms meant that an employee could easily open the gates and access dangerous moving parts of the plant, thereby exposing themselves to injury, including potentially fatal injuries.

HSENI served three Prohibition Notices on the company preventing specific parts of the plant from operating until adequate measures were in place to prevent access to the dangerous parts of machinery. HSENI had previously issued seven similar Prohibition Notices at the premises.

 

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