Dyson Fined £1.2m After Worker Injured in Wiltshire Factory

Technology giant Dyson has been fined £1.2m after a worker was injured when a milling machine fell on him in Dyson’s Wiltshire factory.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety legislation and was fined at Swindon Magistrates’ Court in August this year.

What happened?

Along with a colleague, the employee was moving the 1.5-tonne CNC milling machine when the incident occurred in August 2019. The machine fell and struck the employee, resulting in injuries to the head and chest.

The employee narrowly avoided being crushed due to two toolboxes and a handle breaking the machine’s fall.

The workers were using a five-tonne jack to lift the machine and were in the process of replacing two fixed roller skates when the incident happened.

What precautions should have been taken?

After the incident, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation. It found that Dyson had failed to provide suitable information, instruction and training to the employees involved. The company had also neglected to assess the task properly and create a safe system of work to move the machine safely.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector, James Hole, said the incident “could have been fatal.”

“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’s response to the incident

In response to the incident, Dyson said it was “thankful” that the employee was “not more seriously hurt” and said the employee had since returned to work.

The statement went on to say:

“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.”

Dyson added that health and safety is its “number one priority” and that the court noted their “excellent safety record” with no previous convictions.

How to avoid a similar incident in your workplace

The HSE found that Dyson had failed to provide adequate training for the workers to carry out the task. There was also no risk assessment carried out to assess and mitigate the dangers of the manoeuvre.

To avoid a similar incident in your workplace, you must ensure your staff complete regular training to carry out their jobs safely. Appropriate training courses include:

HCS Safety provides a range of health and safety training courses to help businesses keep their employees safe at work. View our courses here.