Engineering company fined £86k after workers suffer serious injuries


Sulzer Electro Mechanical Services,Engineering firm, Sulzer Electro Mechanical Services, has been fined £86,000 after two workers were thrown from the chuck of a large vertical boring machine and seriously injured

Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard how on 5 September 2018, two employees of Sulzer Electro Mechanical Services (UK), were standing on the chuck of a large vertical boring machine at a site in Bordesley, Birmingham, to set it. The start button was unintentionally pressed and, despite the interlocked perimeter fencing access doors being open, the chuck started to rotate.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the interlocks on the perimeter fencing access doors were not working, and there were no safety checks in place to ensure that the interlocks were in working order.

Sulzer Electro Mechanical Services (UK) pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company has been fined £86,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,111.48.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Christopher Maher said “We hope that as a result of this case, industry will better understand the importance of maintaining effective control measures.

“It is important that guarding arrangements, including interlocks, are checked regularly, to ensure that they are in good repair and efficient working order.”

Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

If the company employs more than four people, the employer must have a written health and safety policy consisting of three parts:

  • Statement of intent – to include the aims and objectives for what will be achieved in terms of health and safety for the company;
  • An organisation chart – stating who is responsible for health and safety within the company, and;
  • An arrangements section – to contain all the necessary procedures for compliance with the relevant laws affecting the company, e.g. risk assessment procedure, along with all risk assessments, a fire evacuation procedure, with relevant training records.


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