Denny foundry fined £10,000 after worker's legs crushed

A foundry has been fined £10,000 for serious safety failings after a worker's legs were crushed by a one-tonne casting mould.

Robert Easton, from Falkirk, suffered serious injuries during the incident at Specialised Castings Ltd's foundry in Denny, near Falkirk, in May 2011.

Both of his legs were broken below the knee and his left ankle was shattered.

Falkirk Sheriff Court heard he required an operation to insert metal pins and rods and needed muscle and skin grafts.

Mr Easton, who was 56 at the time of the incident, was employed as a moulder by Specialised Castings.

He was attempting to turn one half of a two-part mould in a casting box using an overhead crane when it swung towards him and struck him below the knees.

His legs were crushed between the box and a cast iron platform before the mould swung away.

It then swung back in and struck him a second time, but with much less force.

Risk assessments

The court heard that while the company did have risk assessments for operations at the foundry, there was nothing that specifically dealt with the risks associated with the turning of casting moulds.

There was also no safe system setting out the correct method of carrying out the task.

The court was told Mr Easton had been involved in a previous incident at the foundry in June 2010, when he was injured while lifting a sand mould.

The subsequent incident left him permanently scarred and unable to work at the foundry.

Specialised Castings of Headswood Mill, Denny, was fined £10,000 after pleading guilty to breaching health and safety regulations.

Following the case, Health and Safety Executive Principal Inspector Fiona MacNeill, said: "The task of turning a casting mould weighing around one tonne using an overhead crane is inherently dangerous.

"It was entirely foreseeable that if a worker was struck by the mould he could be killed or seriously injured."

She added: "Had the company implemented the advice given by HSE in 2010 and had proper risk assessments and a safe system of work been in place, this incident may have been avoided."

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