Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY22 01 – Machine Isolation Safety – Engineer Serious Part Finger Amputation

Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY22 01 – Machine Isolation Safety – Engineer Serious Part Finger Amputation:


An Engineer had part of a finger amputated after reaching into a live machine without having isolated it – shutting it down and turning off the power at its source.

Description, Issue and Impact/Effect: 

An Engineer was carrying out repairs on an extended Boom Conveyor. After rectifying the initial fault, a noise from within the conveyor alerted the engineer to a secondary fault. Without turning of the electrical power supply and isolating the machine, the engineer removed a fixed cover and reached in to the machine to remove a ‘tag’ trapped in the machinery. The conveyor belt remained running and the engineers hand became trapped in a moving chain and sprocket, amputating part of a finger.

Learning Points:

  • Always isolate machinery before removing covers/guarding – isolate first (and lock off).
  • Only undertake live working where alternatives (with machine isolated) cannot be undertaken.
  • Obtain authority for live working e.g. guarding removed/interlocks overridden (can’t disable emergency stop circuit).
  • Identify minimum time for operation to be performed.
  • No lone working (can be accompanied by RM colleagues ready to operate emergency stop) and use barriers.
  • Identify safest engineer working location that prevents injury risk and maintains safe distance from live components.
  • After live working – review process, engineering out future requirement to do this e.g. clear cover modification to enable viewing without cover/guarding removed.

Key Management Activities and Messages to Drivers and Staff Working On Loading Docks:  

  • Brief all engineers on the importance of isolating machines (using lock off) before accessing the machine/removing guards/covers and controls/SSoWs around live working.

Area Health and Safety Reps/Engineering Reps  

Would all CWU Area Health and Safety Reps/Engineering Reps please note and communicate the content of the Safety Flash, supporting the key messages and learning points, reminding members of the importance of looking after their own safety as well as the safety of work colleagues when working on machinery. Cary out spot safety inspections and report any non-compliance with SSoWs. 


RMG SHE Safety Flash FY22 01 – Safe Machine Isolation.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

22LTB037 Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY22 01 – Machine Isolation Safety – Engineer Serious Part Finger Amputation

SHE Flash FY22 001 – Machine Isolation – ISSUED

View Online


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: