The first clue perhaps that very little consideration was given to assessing risk was the very idea that Diemould not only allowed the apprentices to wear dustcoats whilst operating a large, powerful machine with a rotating spindle...namely the Horizontal Borer – they supplied the dustcoats.
I can’t even begin to comprehend how it is that DAVID McMINN could have been under the impression that the apprentices wore overalls. I believe Ms Cacas has already on the day of his testimony given more than enough credibility to the evidence that apprentices not only wore these dustcoats, but that they were issues by the company.
MARK REMFREY – who trained Daniel on the Horizontal Borer had this to say:
P106 L27 – Preferred to wear a dustcoat – he felt the EEASA shirt was too tight and restrictive
P104 L36 – When questioned whether Diemould issues dustcoats to the workers in 2004? He responded ‘yes’
DAVID WELLING confirmed that he wore his dustcoat while operating machines.
P232 L24 – When we started we were issued dustcoats like everyone else ..
ARMANDO BAKER confirmed that he was issued with dustcoats by the company. Confirmed that there was no safety advise around wearing dustcoats and confirmed that other apprentices using the Horizontal Borer also wore their dustcoats. P458 L17
PETER DAVIDSON was asked whether his dustcoat was issued by Diemould –
P766 L14 – “Yes it was”
And he confirmed that they were a common feature amongst the apprentices. P766 L19
I thought the statement in the brief given by KENNETH RAMSEY was an enlightening read. MR RAMSEY started his apprenticeship as a Fitter and Turner in 1949. He talks about only having been shown the capabilities of a Horizontal Borer in his 2nd year.
As a qualified tradesman, he then spent 25 years operating a horizontal boring machine. This machine was manufactured in around 1955 by ‘Richards and Smith’ and was perhaps larger than the one Daniel was operating.
“I would wear close fitting overalls, no tears so nothing that could get caught on a milling cutter or a single point cutting tool. I would never wear a dustcoat because it has too many flappy bits on it, they are too loose. They are for fellas working on a bench.” C11A - Line 60
Just before moving away from MR RAMSEY, I just wanted to quickly point out that he was involved in an incident with a Horizontal Borer back in the late 80’s. That is quite some years predating 2004.
MR RAMSEY had an incident where the sleeve was caught in a shell mill when he was using an extended shaft. He was strong enough to pull away and ultimately the sleeve of his overalls tore away. He said it scared the life out of him.
Isn’t it interesting that back in the 1980’s, it wasn’t an enormous undertaking to fit a light beam along the base of the machine. Just something I thought was worth mentioning.
In the presence of a machine with exposed and moving or rotating parts, the dust coat is a deadly piece of clothing.
There appeared to be some notion that Diemould had very strongly emphasised the importance of safety and within the brief there is reference to safety glasses, loose clothing and other such general topics.
By its very virtue, a dust coat is exactly that – an item of loose clothing. It hangs – it can flap around. Quite incredibly it is a toolmaker’s coat of recognition. It is nonetheless a dangerous accessory if companies fail to recognise the risks associated with it.