A chemical company has been fined £28,000 after one of its employees lost the tips of three fingers in an accident at work.
John Harrison suffered the personal injury while trying to adjust a bag used to capture calcium-oxide dust.
His left hand slipped and touched a shear point created by a rotating valve, resulting in three fingers being severed down to the first joint.
The ductwork beneath the rotary valve had been dismantled so that the dust could be collected in bags beneath.
But Beverley Magistrates’ Court heard that although the bag necks were laid underneath the valve, the necks did not fit properly.
Failure to carry out risk assessment
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident at Omya UK Limited’s site in Gibson Lane, Melton, Leicestershire.
It concluded that the firm had failed completely in risk assessment concerning operating the machine, with the ductwork not in place.
The HSE, which described the operating method used as unusual, said the company had also failed to ensure the dangerous sections were guarded adequately.
Company was criticised heavily
Omya UK Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching both the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations Act and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations Act and was ordered to pay £1,813 costs. The company said it deeply regretted the incident.
Mr Harrison, 51, has recovered from the incident, which happened on February 14 last year, and is now back at work.
The company was criticised heavily for its risk assessment, planning and safety failings by Steve Kay, an inspector with the HSE.
Source: Hull Daily Mail