Health and Safety News

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Stockport firm in court after employee severs fingers

The machine which caused the workers injuriesA Stockport engineering firm has been prosecuted after one of its employees lost four fingers on his left hand when they were crushed in machinery.

The 62-year-old from Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire had been using a power press to cut electrical components from a thin strip of steel when his hand became caught between the unguarded cutting tools.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the machine guards had been disconnected and tied back several days before the incident to allow easy access. This meant that operators could put their hands under the tools to remove components without the power first being cut.

The injured worker's employer, Hayles Pressings Ltd., admitted three health and safety offences when it appeared before Trafford Magistrates' Court following the incident at its factory on Mottram Street in Stockport on 24 November 2010.

The court was told the most likely explanation for the worker's injuries is that he accidently leant on the foot pedal which operated the press while his hand was under the cutting tools. He lost all of the fingers on his left hand including the knuckles and, despite several operations and skin grafts, still has very little use of his hand.

Hayles Pressings Ltd. pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 by not providing adequate training to employees, not checking guards were in place, and not preventing access to dangerous parts of the machine.

The company, of Market Street in Hyde, was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £2,500 towards the cost of the prosecution on 6 July 2012.


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