The technology company Dyson has been fined more than £1m after one of its employees was injured when a giant milling machine fell on top of him.
Dyson was ordered to pay £1.2m at Swindon magistrates court for failing to properly train its staff in handling the kit. The firm pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety laws.
The man was injured when the 1.5-tonne piece of equipment fell on top of him while he was at work in August 2019 at the company’s factory in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.
He was moving a computer-assisted milling machine with the help of a colleague when the incident happened.
They lifted it up with a five-tonne jack, and were replacing some wheels with wooden blocks when it fell.
The Health and Safety Executive said that it struck the man, injuring his head and chest.
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.
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 James Hole, a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector. “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 wellbeing 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 judgment 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’.”