Worker loses finger in unguarded machine

Posted on 05/26/14 in News, No Comments

First published by the Health and Safety Executive on 30th January 2014:

A 54 year old worker lost his finger after it was severed to the bone in an incident in February 2013 at the factory of a global packaging company in Gosport, Hampshire.

The worker, who had worked for the company for 34 years, severed the finger through to the bone, it later had to be amputated after surgeons were unable to save it.

The workers employer specialises in packaging food and drink and operates factories worldwide. The worker was one of two men feeding plastic sheets into the machine. He fed the sheet onto a chain which drew it inside; the chain could be described as a spiked bicycle chain. The machine was unguarded and consequently the first finger on his right hand became caught between the chain and the roller, and the accident would have been avoided.

The court found that the company had failed to adequately identify the risks posed by the lack of guarding and take appropriate precautions to protect workers from injury.

The company were order to pay over £10,000.00 in fines and costs. The Company had breached the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Russell Beckett said:

“Incidents of this kind are all too common in the manufacturing sector, and the onus is on employers to ensure appropriate guarding is in place at all times to protect workers.

“The company had a previously good health and safety record, but on this occasion it fell below the minimum legal standards for safety and an employee was badly injured as a result.

“The spiked feed chain was easily accessible from the side of the machine, and it was a dangerous moving part that posed a clear risk.”


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