|Firm fined after six workers sustained back injures due to manual handling.|
A £200,000 fine has been issued to a Northampton engine manufacturer after six members of staff were left with back injuries due to manually lifting engine parts weighing up to 21kg.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was launched into MAHLE Powertrain, which provides specialist engine parts for Audi and Jaguar Land Rover vehicles that are no longer in large scale production, after they received six RIDDOR reports between 1st November 2013 and 7th January 2015.
Individual engine parts would pass through several stations, some of which were Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machines. Parts would be added and removed from the cylinder head, causing its weight to vary between 17kg and 21kg.
Cylinder heads were also stored in pallets on the floor and employees would lift the engines onto the machine’s bed.
It was found that workers on two production lines were unable to use mechanical lifting aids, either because the employees had not been trained to use them or they were not provided.
The lack of mechanical lifting aids resulted in one worker being hospitalised for seven days and off work for more than nine weeks, while another said that the pain caused by the regular lifting was “unbearable”.
The investigation found that in the first six month of 2014, MAHLE recorded 31 lifting and handling injuries in its accident log.
The firm, which had a turnover of £56m in 2014, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1)(b) of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations and was fined £183.340 and order to pay £21,277 in costs.