Health and Safety News

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St. Helens manufacturer in court over crushed hand

A manufacturing firm has been sentenced after a worker's hand was crushed in a metal press at a St. Helens factory.

Barry Kelleher lost his little finger and part of the palm on his right hand as a result of the incident at Crane Building Services and Utilities. The 47-year-old from Leigh also needed two skin grafting operations.

The owner of the factory, Crane Ltd, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found the machine could still be operated when a workers' hand was underneath the mould.

Knowsley Magistrates' Court in Huyton was told the machine had been installed at the factory on Delta Road in St Helens in 1967, but had not been upgraded to comply with modern health and safety laws.

Mr Kelleher does not remember the incident on 19 January 2011, which occurred while he was using the press to mould metal parts, used by the gas industry.

However, the HSE investigation concluded that the most likely explanation is that he inadvertently pressed the foot pedal on the machine while his hand was under the mould.

Crane Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 by failing to prevent workers from being able to access the dangerous parts of the machine while it was operating.

The company, of West Road in Ipswich, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £4,560 in prosecution costs on 9 December 2011.


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