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Famous tyre manufacturer fined over workplace injuries

by Redmans Solicitors on August 25, 2013

The famous tyre manufacturer “Pirelli” has been fined by the Carlisle Magistrates’ Court after one of its workers suffered a serious injury at work because of health and safety lapses in one of its factory.

The accident occurred on 3 January 2012 when an un-named 57-year-old worker was working in Pirelli’s factory. He was working on a tyre-testing machine at the time and was attempting to fix a fault on the machine when the accident happened. He switched the machine onto manual mode and believed that he had fixed the problem. However, after two machines were manufactured the machine experienced another fault. Without thinking, the worker reached back into the machine to fix the problem and his arm became trapped. This resulted in the worker breaking his arm in three places and having to take four months off work to recuperate.

A subsequent Health and Safety Executive investigation into the accident found that there may have been a breach of health and safety regulations. It therefore recommended that Pirelli Tyres Ltd be charged with a breach of s.2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 – that the company had failed in its duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all its employees.

The matter came before the Carlisle Magistrates’ Court earlier this month. The court heard evidence and submissions from both tyres and Pirelli Tyres Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £20,000 by the Magistrates’ Court. The court also ordered that the firm pay £4,330 towards the costs of the prosecution.

It does not appear that Pirelli’s criminal defence solicitors commented after the hearing. It is also not known whether the un-named man has made a personal injury claim against Pirelli.

HSE Inspector Michael Griffiths said after the hearing: “The fault with the machine had occurred before, following previous Christmas breaks, but the company didn’t have a specific risk assessment in place to make sure it could be fixed safely. Although Pirelli did have written Safe Working Procedures, they were not effective because the employees were either unaware of them or weren’t following them, and no effort was made to check that the procedures were being followed.”

Redmans are unfair dismissal solicitors and no win no fee employment solicitors based in London

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