Welsh Accident at Work- Roller Manufacturer Moonsys fined heavily for life changing injuries to two workers

Two workers received life changing injuries when they were drawn into lathes in two separate incidents in just over a month at a Newport roller manufacturer.

Moonsys Technology was fined by Newport Crown Court on 13 January for the lack of assessment and forethought that led to the events of 18 April and 22 May 2013.

Ross Powell-Morris was polishing a metal roller with emery cloth on a CNC lathe at the workshop in Newport (18 April), when the glove he was wearing became entangled and pulled his arm into the machine.

The HSE found the lathe was improperly maintained. The safety interlocks were not working and the emergency safety bar was not operational — it had been propped to catch an oil leak.

There was no risk assessment or documented safe system for polishing parts with an emery cloth on a powered lathe. Powell-Morris should never have been allowed to wear gloves, but should have been supplied with a manual lathe and appropriate tools so that polishing could be completed safely, said the HSE.

Powell-Morris, 32, required amputation on his left arm and sustained scarring to his face — he is in constant pain and has been unable to return to work.

Stephen Harris was unwrapping cloth from a processing roller when he was drawn into the powered lathe he was using and severely injured.

The HSE found that Moonsys Technology had not provided a sufficient risk assessment or safe system of work for the removal of cloth using a powered lathe; there was no attempt to limit the potential speed of the lathe’s rotation during unwrapping and no place to put discarded cloth to prevent entanglement.

Harris sustained internal and external injuries, breaking his knees, left wrist, and right thigh, and had trauma to his head — he has not been able to return to work and is expected to undergo months of physiotherapy. It is unclear if he will fully recover.

Moonsys Technology pleaded guilty to two breaches of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined a total of £70,000 and ordered to pay £20, 710 in costs.

(This article was originally  reported by Health and Safety at Work)