A man’s finger pad was partially severed in an accident at work just six weeks before a colleague suffered cuts to his head when he was hit by a falling machine part at the same plant, a court heard.
Hi-tech manufacturer Fiberweb Geosynthetics Ltd was fined £22,000 and ordered to pay £604 costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act, the Manual Handling Operations Regulations and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations.
Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard the accidents happened at the firm’s plant in Maldon, Essex in January and February 2013.
In the first incident a 39-year-old worker from Southminster was helping to lift a 70-90kg reel of plastic material when his colleague lost their grip.
The reel fell, trapping the man’s hand against the surface of a wrapping table. The man had to have his fingertip and nail-bed reconstructed after the accident, magistrates heard.
The following month, the court heard, a 24-year-old employee from Braintree was hit on the head when a badly-secured crane eyebolt detached from its thread and fell. The man was knocked off his platform and suffered a deep cut to his head.
Lessons not learnt
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told magistrates its investigations had found that health and safety failings on the part of the firm had led to both work injuries.
It said the firm had not assessed the risks involved in lifting the heavier-than-normal reel of plastic but had since entirely eliminated all manual handling from the process.
The HSE found in the second incident the injured employee and a colleague who was working with him had not been given training for the operation they were undertaking. It said the eyebolt had been incorrectly inserted while a lack of appropriate supervision had resulted in the man taking up a position directly below the machine.
Employees injured in accidents in the workplace can get help advancing their claims for compensation from Accident Advice Helpline. To discuss your claim with a member of their expert team dial 0800 689 0500 now.
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