The duty to safeguard a machine arises under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992 particularly Regulation 11. On the 6th January 2014, a North Staffordshire employee has lost part of his little finger after his hand was trapped between the roller and belt at the end of a conveyor which was under a trial period at Bathgate Slate Technologies Limited of Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire.
At a hearing of a health and safety prosection brought by the Health and Safety Executive at the Stafford Magistrates Court on the 16th January 2014, the company operating the unguarded machine which caused the injury was fined 4000 and ordered to pay costs.
This case highlights the absolute importance of properly guarding dangerous parts of machinery. Even though liability to pay personal injury compensation through a breach of the health and safety regulations was removed in late 2013, a failure to operate a workplace to the requisite standard can give rise to criminal liability and since no reasonably prudent employer would run a workplace in breach of the criminal law, breaching the relevant standard can amount to negligence if loss or injury arises as a result.