Company fined after worker has fingers amputated
A plastics recycling firm has been hit with a five-figure fine after one of its employees suffered serious injuries to his left hand.
The man was trying to repair a drying unit at Roydon Granulation in St Helens on May 19th 2009 when parts of two of his fingers were caught in the blades of a high-speed fan.
While four of his fingers were damaged, the two that came into full contact with the fan - which rotates about 1,450 times per minute - were eventually amputated.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that the company's procedure for repairing the machine was inadequate, underlining the importance of warning signs.
The firm pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 at St Helens Magistrates' Court and was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £4,347 in costs.
"By law, the preferred solution would have been for the workers to switch off and lock off the power supply to the fan with padlocks," said HSE inspector Richard Clarke.
"If this was not possible, then temporary guards should have been put in place. These or other equally effective measures were not taken."
Meanwhile, KP Gardner Builders was fined £7,000 earlier this week after one of its workers suffered a broken back and ribs when he was struck by falling concrete blocks.
Posted by Jason Nicholls
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