Worker trapped by neck in machinery

A WORKER has re-lived the moment his body was spun around and battered when his clothing snagged in a machine.

Tomas Cisarik’s clothes were ripped from him and he was left with a gaping 20cm gash in his back, severe friction burns and a cracked foot bone when his hooded top caught in machine part spinning at 300RPM.

The 33-year-old Dewsbury man was working for Batley firm P Craven Engineering Company Limited at its Heckmondwike factory in September last year.

He was clearing metal shavings from the machine when the accident happened.

The company admitted breaching its general duty to employees by failing to prevent access to a dangerous part of the machine, when it appeared before Kirklees Magistrates.

But the court also heard that bosses told Mr Cisarik to turn the machine off before cleaning it and staff were told not to wear hooded tops. Magistrates ordered the firm, of Woodlands Road, to pay a £5,000 fine and £2,302 costs.

After the hearing, Mr Cisarik said he had been working alone, but colleagues heard his screams and called for help.

He said: “It was an open wound. I’m really lucky that I’m not paralysed, or dead.”

Mr Cisarik was taken to Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, where he had a three-hour operation on his back.

He remained in hospital for a week-and-a-half and had to be treated for post-traumatic stress for four months.

“I got nightmares and that feeling of choking even afterwards,” Mr Cisarik, of Bradford Road, said. “Even if I didn’t want to think about it, it came back to me and I could feel everything.”

In court, Andrea Ford for the Health and Safety Executive, said a safety feature on the machine that Mr Cisarik was using had been disabled.

“If this machine had been fully guarded, this accident would not have happened,” she said, adding that three further machines also had inadequate guarding.

Tanya Forret, for P Craven, said Mr Cisarik had been hired because of his expertise in using that particular type of machine.

She said the safety features may have been disabled when the machine was bought from a liquidated firm, but her client had not disabled them.

Director Paul Craven had told employees not to wear hooded tops before and told Mr Cisarik to turn off the machine before it was cleaned on the day of the accident, she said.

Ms Forret added that Mr Craven was shocked by what happened and had even considered closing the firm.

After the hearing, Mr Cisarik said: “I try not to think negatively about it.

“These things happen and I should be happy I’m alive.”