County Tyrone engineering company fined following health and safety failures

Date published: 04 March 2024

Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI), a County Tyrone engineering company, Caledon Precision Engineering Limited has been fined for failing to ensure the safety of employees while working at an automatic lathe.

Today at Craigavon Crown Court, the company was fined £25,000 after earlier pleading guilty to a single health and safety offence.

The Court heard that on 10 October 2022, an employee sustained serious hand injuries while using emery cloth at an automatic lathe. A metal component had been placed into the automatic lathe and the emery cloth was applied by hand for the purposes of removing rust.

It was further established that the interlocking doors to the lathe had been bypassed meaning the lathe could be operated with the doors open.

HSENI Inspector, Gavin Rowan said: “Employers have a legal duty to ensure employees and others are not put at risk from unguarded machinery.

“Serious incidents involving the use of emery cloth at metalworking lathes are common and result in injuries such as broken bones, dislocations, and amputations.

“It is never acceptable to apply emery cloth directly by hand on a rotating automatic or manual metal working machine.”

Emery cloth is a type of abrasive paper or sandpaper, that can be used to debur, polish or size a wide range of metal components while held in the rotating chuck jaws of a lathe. Emery cloth should never be applied directly by hand to manual or automatic lathes.

More information in relation to the use of emery cloth on metalworking machines is available online at:

Notes to editors: 

  1. Breaches and fines for Caledon Precision Engineering Limited are as follows: 

         a) Article 4(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland)                   Order 1978, fine £25,000.

 2. For media enquiries please contact: HSENI Press Office on 028 9024            3249 or email For out of office hours please                  contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

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