A mill in Kelso has been fined £16750 after a worker lost an arm following an accident at work.
Mr Neil had been cleaning a rotary valve some 4 metres above the ground to prevent it becoming clogged with oats, when he slipped, his arm becoming trapped in the exposed rotating valve blade. He suffered severe personal injury when his arm was drawn into the mechanism and severed. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found there was no possibility of being able to reach the isolation switch to stop power to the machine.
Mr Neil had worked for John Hogarth Ltd of Kelso for over 28 years and was close to retirement when the accident at work happened. His arm was severed 10cm below his right elbow and surgeons were unable to reattach it. He has since had to learn to write with his left hand and suffered from post traumatic stress after his accident at work.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It failed to provide Mr Neil with training in order to use the machine safely, and carried out no risk assessment. Sheriff Kevin Drummond said there was a 'degree of complacency' among longer-serving staff members.
A Health and Safety Executive inspector said: "It is the clear duty of those who create risks to manage them and to implement safe systems, particularly for work at height which is the most common cause of serious injury in the workplace."
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