Tech company Dyson has been fined over £1million after one of its employees was injured when a giant milling machine fell on him.
Dyson was ordered to pay £1.2million at Swindon Magistrates’ Court for failing to properly train staff to handle the kit. The company pleaded guilty to violating health and safety laws.
The man was injured when the 1.5 tonne piece of equipment fell on him while he was at work in August 2019 at the company’s factory in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.
He was moving a computer-aided milling machine with the help of a colleague when the incident occurred.
They lifted it with a five-ton jack and were replacing some wheels with wooden blocks when it fell.
The Health and Safety Executive said he punched the man, injuring him in the head and chest.
Its investigators found that Dyson failed to provide “appropriate and sufficient information, instruction and training” to its staff. He also had no systems in place to ensure the machine was moved safely.
The man only escaped being crushed 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 who control the work have a duty to assess the risks, design safe working methods and provide the necessary information, instructions and training to their staff.
“Had a safe and proper system of work been in place, this incident and the resulting injuries could have been avoided.”
Dyson said: “The health, safety and well-being of Dyson employees is our number one priority. Prior to this case, Dyson had no convictions or enforcement history related to occupational health and safety.
“We are grateful that the employee was not more seriously injured and was able to return to work at Dyson.
“As an engineering company, we use complex and often heavy equipment and ensure that we do so safely. We deeply regret that this happened and accept the court’s decision today.
“We were delighted that in its judgment the court noted our ‘excellent safety record’, our ‘prompt response to this incident and our full cooperation at the highest level within the company’ and declared that Dyson is an ‘Exemplary Corporate Citizen’.”