Incorrectly fitted guard leads to worker needing finger amputation
Businesses have been warned to ensure that all machinery is safe to use following an incident at a factory in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
A 49-year-old employee needed his middle figure amputated past the first knuckle on his right hand after an accident when working with a rubber conveying machine.
The employee was loading fabric bags containing rubber onto a hopper when getting his hand caught.
However, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) determined that the machine being used had been modified with a fixed guard being replaced by an incorrectly fitted interlocking guard.
Alongside the amputation, the member of staff also seriously damaged his ring finger.
The company involved were fined Ã‚Â£10,000 in court and ordered to pay Ã‚Â£4,000 in costs after admitting to breaching Regulation 11(1) of Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
HSE inspector Mhairi Duffy said: "This incident would have been prevented had the guarding on the machine been fitted properly, or if there had been adequate systems in place to detect the failed guard before the accident."
Businesses may be best served to ensure warning signs are visible when staff are working with potentially harmful equipment.
Posted by Ben Alexander
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