Despite five enforcement notices company didn’t have safety guard in place…
A manufacturing company based in Gloucestershire has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a teenage employee had his fingers severed by unguarded machinery while working at a factory in Lydney.
The 17-year-old accident victim lost the top of his index finger and his middle finger when the glove of his right hand got caught in the rotating cutter of the machine he was using.
After the HSE investigated the incident they decided to proceed with a prosecution of the company as a result of their findings which were reported at Cheltenham Magistrates Court.
The court was told that the machinery being used by the young apprentice didn’t have any protective guards in place which are essential safety requirements for any piece of equipment that has potentially dangerous internal parts.
Furthermore it was revealed that the company had already been issued with five enforcement notices after a visit from health and safety inspectors in September 2010 which specifically required the company to fit safety guards to their machinery including the milling machines that caused the teenager’s injuries.
The manufacturing company pleaded guilty to breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 which make the employer responsible for the safety of their staff and demand that employees are protected from dangerous machine parts belonging to company equipment.
The company was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £1,962 in costs after indicating that they would implement all necessary safety measures to ensure incidents like this would not occur again.
HSE inspector Caroline Bird spoke after the verdict had been delivered:
“A teenage apprentice just entering the world of work, lost parts of two fingers because the company didn’t do enough to look after his safety.
“He should never have been holding the metal plate and, had suitable machinery guards been in place on the milling machine, his fingers would not have come into contact with the rotating cutter.
“The company failed to adopt a safe system of work on this machine and failed to carry out a proper risk assessment of the work. The training of this young person was also inadequate.
“This incident could have been avoided if the company had checked the safety of its milling machines after receiving enforcement notices relating to the guards on the machines at its Bradford factory.”
Author: Julian Roberts
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