Lock Out Tag Out Could Have Prevented Death in Dry Sided Conveyor Accident

Cemex UK Operations Limited has been fined £1m after a worker suffered fatal injuries in its West Lothian concrete block and paving factory when he was struck on the body by a centering machine lifting mast.

Livingston Sheriff Court heard that on 13 May 2017, James Brownlie was carrying out maintenance and repair work on a dry sided conveyor, part of which ran under a machine known as a centering machine, a machine used to centre the bricks, pushing them together under hydraulic pressure to make them ready for packaging. The equipment was not isolated at the time of repair and part of Mr Brownlie’s body interrupted the path of the light beam between the sensor’s emitter and reflector causing the machine’s lifting mast to activate and strike him on the body causing internal injuries from which he died a short time later.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Cemex UK Operations Limited failed to ensure the centering machine was isolated prior to the maintenance work being carried out. Cemex pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) and Section 33 (1) (a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974 and was fined £1,000,000.

Lock-out, tag-out is established best practice in avoiding a serious accident such as this. A LOTO system will effectively lock-out and tag-out your equipment, ensuring that its power supply is fully isolated, locked-out, and that all staff and contractors are aware of its status prior to maintenance, repair work and inspection.

 

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