Kent Auto Developments has been fined £12,000 after an employee was injured while operating a metalworking lathe

Kent Auto Developments (KAD), a Mini parts specialist based in Romney Marsh, Kent, was sentenced on 1st August 2022 at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court after one of its employees was injured in an incident involving a metalworking lathe. 

The employee, Joshua Halls, was polishing Mini brake drums on a manual lathe by ‘applying emery cloth by hand’, a release by the HSE stated. Halls was subsequently caught in the machine and suffered injuries to his forearm, face and neck. The incident took place on August 10, 2020.  

The Health and Safety Executive – the national regulator for workplace health and safety – investigated the incident and found that the business had “failed to implement a safe system of work”, with employees routinely polishing brake drums with emery cloth by hand on the lathe. The HSE stated that the task was “known to be dangerous due to the potential risk of entanglement of the cloth in the rotating parts of the lathe, which can result in serious personal injury”. It added that if this method was unavoidable tool posts and holding devices should have been used.  

KAD was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £6,349.24 in costs after it was found to have breached Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and Regulation 4(2) of The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. 

“We still see incidents like this, where unsafe work practices with machinery lead to injury, despite the existence of specific guidance published by HSE,” said HSE inspector Sam Brown after the hearing. “Workers coming into contact with machinery is the  fourth biggest cause of workplace fatalities in Great Britain, with 14 people  killed in the year 2020/21. Over 50,000 non-fatal injuries were reported by employers in the same year.” 

Classics World has approached Kent Auto Developments for comment.