Allied Glass has been prosecuted for neglecting the safety of its workers after an employee was injured using an industrial high-pressure jet washer to clean a production line.
The employee suffered a severe cut to the base of his left index finger when the lance of the 1500-bar jet washer fell from his grip. He had to undergo an operation to remove air that had been injected into the finger and to repair nerve damage.
Leeds Magistrates' Court, UK was told that Allied Glass Containers Ltd had not provided the worker with adequate training, information or instruction.
He was given unsuitable protective clothing - including boots four sizes too big - and, despite not having used the equipment before, was not adequately supervised.
Allied Glass Containers Ltd, which employs around 600 staff at its sites in Hunslet and Knottingley, UK, was charged with a breach of safety after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident on 4 May 2011 in Hunslet.
The court heard the firm bought the jet washer to clean dirt and oils from the glass- forming section of the production line. Previously the cleaning had been done manually.
HSE found the employee was told to carry out a two-day deep clean of the line although he had not been given the chance to handle the equipment. In addition no instruction was given about the gloves to be worn and, despite being a size six shoe, he was given size ten boots to wear.
HSE also found that the sheeting used to protect other workers from the water jetting was inadequate to withstand the water pressure, and there were no signs warning other workers of the danger of entering the enclosure.
Allied Glass Containers Ltd, of South Accommodation Road, Leeds, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £2,623 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
The employee has since returned to work and Allied Glass has reverted to manual cleaning of the production line.