Steward Wood, a dye machine operative in Staffordshire for a company that makes webbing for seatbelts and harnesses, suffered serious burns whilst on a night shift after his arms became trapped in a machine.
Webbing became wrapped around the machines rollers, Mr Wood climbed into the machine without isolating it to try and unravel the webbing. As he did so, his left arm became drawn into the unguarded rollers. He tried to push to top roller up to free his left arm, but his right arm was also drawn into the machine.
A colleague heard his screams, but did not know how to isolate the machine so ran to get help. By the time Mr Wood was freed from the machine, he had suffered serious burns and skin damage.
Mr Wood was taken to hospital and transferred to the special burns unit in Birmingham where he was admitted for two weeks. He then had to undergo skin grafts on both arms and has permanent loss of sensation to the injured area. He was off work for a number of weeks but has since returned to work for the company.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to implement a safe system of work for Mr Wood in the job that he was doing and had exposure employees to risks over many years.
Swain & Co.’s specialist personal injury lawyers say that despite Mr Wood working for the company for over 12 years he had not received adequate training, information or written instructions on how to carry out the common task of removing wrap-arounds safely.
Mr Wood is lucky to not have suffered more serious injuries or been killed. The company had not given adequate consideration to the risks of operating this machine. They exposed their staff to significant risk every day over a prolonged period of time and someone has been hurt,
The HSE has rightly taken action against the company.