Dyson fined £1.2 million after 1.5 tonne machine falls on worker

The company had not put proper systems in place to avoid accidents, the Health and Safety Executive said.

03 August 2022

Technology company Dyson has been fined more than a million pounds after one of its employees was injured when a giant milling machine fell on top of him.

The business was ordered to pay £1.2 million at Swindon Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to breaching health and safety laws.

A man at the company’s factory in Wiltshire was injured when the 1.5 tonne piece of equipment fell on top of him while he was at work in August 2019.

Along with a colleague, he was moving a computer-assisted milling machine at the Tetbury Hill, Malmesbury, site.

They lifted it up with a five-tonne jack, and were replacing some wheels with wooden blocks when it fell.

It struck the man and his head and chest were injured, the Health and Safety Executive said.

Its investigators found that Dyson had not provided “suitable and sufficient information, instruction and training” to its staff.

It had also not put systems in place to ensure that the machine was moved safely.

In the end the man escaped being crushed only because the machine landed on two toolboxes and the handle of another machine.

“This incident could have been fatal,” said Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector James Hole. “Those in control of work have a duty to assess the risks, devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workforce.

“Had a suitable safe system of work been in place this incident and the related injuries could have been prevented.”

Dyson said: “The health, safety and well-being of Dyson’s people is our number one priority. Prior to this case, Dyson has had no convictions, or enforcement history related to health and safety at work.

“We are thankful that the employee was not more seriously hurt and has been able to return to work at Dyson.

“As an engineering company, we use complex and often heavy equipment and take care to do so safely. We deeply regret that this happened and we accept the court’s decision today.

“We were pleased that in its judgement the court noted our ‘excellent safety record’, our ‘prompt response to this incident and full cooperation at the highest level within the company’ and said that Dyson is an ‘exemplary corporate citizen’.”

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