Nuneaton Magistrates’ Court has fined a Warwickshire based company £8,000 with £11,300 costs after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the case.
The company who specialises in the production of metal components for the automotive industry had failed to check the safety of a 160 tonne power press. Although the equipment had been fitted with new guards, the interlock, a safety device, had not been checked and adjusted. When the agency worker was removing completed items from the machine, he inadvertently pressed the foot pedal and the machine began to operate.
The worker suffered severe injuries to his hand and required an operation to amputate three and a half fingers and part of his palm.
After the case was heard, HSE Inspector Sue Thompson said:
“The worker suffered life-changing injuries. He spent 35 hours in surgery undergoing seven different operations and is now severely disabled with the loss of his dominant hand. He has not been able to return to work and is still receiving treatment”.
“Yet this incident was entirely preventable had the company thoroughly examined the machine before it was brought back into use and carried out adequate daily checks. The fact the fault was missed a dozen different times shows a complete lack of diligence.”