Clitheroe firm fined £35,000 after worker loses sight in one eye

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A Clitheroe hydraulic cylinder manufacturer has been fined for serious safety breaches after an employee was badly injured when he was struck in the face during a test procedure.

Lodematic Components Ltd was prosecuted on Friday by the Health and Safety Executive following an incident at Numbers 1,2 and 3 Works, Primrose Road, Clitheroe, on January 23rd last year.

The test was carried out without segregating or safeguarding the test zone, and the test connectors were not subject to maintenance or inspection

HSE inspector Bradley Wigglesworth

Preston Crown Court heard the worker was hit in the face by a pressurised hose during a test when a connector catastrophically failed. The worker suffered a broken jaw multiple facial cuts and total blindness in his right eye.

The worker was assisting the works manager and Ddesign Eegineer in pressure testing a hydraulic cylinder when the incident occurred. The HSE investigation found the test zone was not segregated or safeguarded and the test equipment was not maintained and suitable for the task. Lodematic Components had also failed to carry out a risk assessment.

Lodematic Components of Clitheroe admitted a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £35,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £7,835.52

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Bradley Wigglesworth said “Lodematic (Components) Limited failed to assess the risks or provide a safe system of work for pressure testing hydraulic cylinders.

“The test was carried out without segregating or safeguarding the test zone, and the test connectors were not subject to maintenance or inspection. If these measures had been in place at the time of the incident then the employee’s life changing injuries could have been avoided.”