Health and Safety News

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Engineering firm sentenced over severed fingers

The forklift truck which caused the workers injuriesA Skelmersdale firm which makes outdoor shelters has appeared in court after an employee lost parts of three fingers when his hand became trapped in a forklift truck.

PRF Engineering, which manufactures shelters for bikes and supermarket trolleys, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at its factory on Grimrod Place on 19 May 2011.

Ormskirk Magistrates' Court heard yesterday, Monday 3 September, that the 36-year-old worker from Kirkby had been helping to transport a three metre-wide metal sheet when he was injured.

He and a colleague stood on top of the sheet to stabilise it on the prongs of the forklift so it could be moved, but as the sheet was lowered the worker's left hand became trapped.

He was taken to hospital by ambulance where his fingers were reattached but has only been able to regain partial use of his hand.

The court was told the company had failed to carry out a proper assessment of the risks faced by their workers. It should not have allowed employees to stand on top of the forks and should have found another way to transport the sheets of metal such as using a large metal basket.

PRF Engineering pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety or employees. It was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £5,164 in costs.


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