A workplace accident at a welding company in West Midlands, England, shows that hand protection may not be the best choice for safety when it comes to certain workplace tasks.

Twenty-three-year-old Deimantas Beinoras was using a pedestal drilling machine to drill holes into some box section tubing. He was adjusting the work piece while the drill was running when his gloved hand became entangled with the unguarded drill bit, causing his arm to be yanked around the drill. Beinoras suffered two bones in his right forearm and required a skin graft.

His employer, KV Welding, Limited, admitted to violating Section 2(1) of Great Britain’s Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 . The company, which manufactures equipment for the material handling and logistics sector, was fined £10,000 (nearly $13,000) and ordered to pay £2,168.73 in costs ($2,815).

A representative from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – Britain’s national independent watchdog for work-related health, safety and illness -- told the court that injury could have been prevented if:

  • the injured person had not been wearing gloves;
  • the drill was guarded with a telescopic guard covering the rotating drill bit; and
  • proper training had been provided.

He added that suitable and sufficient risk assessment would have identified the required control measures.

HSE inspector Richard Littlefair said, “It is vital that companies understand the importance of using suitable guarding when employees are operating drilling machines as there are significant risks involved which may lead to serious personal injury. Other simple measures such as not wearing gloves can be taken to eliminate the risk of entanglement involved with operating drilling machines or any other machinery with moving/rotating parts.”