A broken guard on a piece of machinery was to blame for a worker losing part of his hand, an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found.
Now, Devonshire-based textile company, Heathcoat Fabrics Limited, has been fined after Anthony Seward, 21, suffered life-changing hand injuries.
Hand got caught in rotating rollers
In August 2014, Mr Seward was preparing a piece of machinery for the next shift, Exeter Magistrates’ Court heard.
During this work, his hand got caught in the machinery and was drawn into the rotating rollers. The accident resulted in Mr Seward suffering severe crush injuries to his left hand and the partial amputation of four fingers.
An investigation into the accident at work by the HSE found that Heathcoat Fabrics hadn’t safeguard this dangerous machinery properly.
A guard had previously been provided but after it broke down the company had failed to repair it. Instead, they replaced the guard with an emergency stop wire.
The machinery remained this way for over two years. The proper guard was only replaced the day after this incident.
Man suffered ‘life-changing’ injuries
HSE inspector Paul Mannell said: “Mr Seward has suffered life-changing injuries due to the company’s failures. An individual’s health and safety should not be made worse by the work they do.
“Duty holders have the responsibility to ensure all dangerous machinery has the appropriate level of safety guarding for employees to be able to operate it.”
Heathcoat Fabrics Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2862.30.
Reference: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: September 6, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown