Masonry supplier failed on machine guarding

Masonry supplier failed on machine guarding

Following an investigation by the Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI), Dunmurry-based Colinwell Masonry Products has been fined for defective casting machinery.

Lisburn magistrates this week fined the company £1,000 after it pleaded guilty to a single offence.

The court heard that on 24th May 2023, during a visit to the workshop, HSENI inspectors found three separate locations where employees were able to access dangerous moving machinery parts.

Access gates to machinery did not have effective safety interlocking mechanisms in place. One gate had no interlocked safety feature; on two others 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, thereby exposing themselves to injury, including potentially fatal injuries.

HSENI served three prohibition notices on Colinwell Masonry Products Limited preventing specific parts of the plant from operating until adequate measures were in place to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery. HSENI had previously issued seven similar prohibition notices at the premises.

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.”

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