On 29th November 2013, an employee of Pirelli Tyres Ltd was loading the stripline machine when his left arm was pulled in by a roller. A similar incident occurred when on 31st August 2015 a second employee had his left arm pulled in by the same roller whilst trying to make an adjustment during a production run.

The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) investigation found the machine was not properly guarded, despite the first incident. Pirelli Tyres, Burton-on-Trent, pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay costs of £5,820. It breached two of Regulations of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and as such was fined £512,000.

Unite regional officer Malcolm Carruthers said: “The case of the Pirelli tyre factory at Carlisle shows the vital importance of health and safety legislation diligently built up over decades in UK law.

“There have been historic problems with health and safety at this site that were caused or exacerbated by the attitude of looking to blame individuals, who had an accident, in a blame-shifting exercise, rather than address the root cause of the accident. This case shows that lessons were not learned from the first incident that should have prevented a further occurrence.

“Senior reps on-site have said that they are encouraged by what appears to be a better approach in recent times to health and safety. Unite has well-trained safety reps on site and their knowledge and experience in these roles should be appreciated for the benefits they can offer.”