Banff Sheriff Court heard on Tuesday how 23-year-old Polish man Mariusz Toporek was involved in precision engineering work for Macduff Shipyards Limited in Aberdeenshire on 19 March 2013.
He was using a metalworking lathe and had set it to the right diameter for the work on a computer, but put it in manual mode instead in order to finish the pins he was making, the court was told.
He was wearing gloves and using an emery cloth to do the work but it got caught in the lathe and dragged his hand into it, the court heard.
Mr Toporek, who lives in Banff, could not work for about a month as he was recovering from strained finger tendons and a fractured bone in his right hand, the court was told.
No risk assessment
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Macduff Shipyards Limited after an investigation discovered it had not risk assessed its precision engineering work and use of the machines it had in the department.
The operations manager, who oversaw the work in the department and the health and safety of all those working in it, had limited knowledge and was not trained well enough for the job, the court heard.
Using emery cloths was not a safe method of doing the job but was seen as normal practice. There were other safer means of doing it that the company could have used instead, the court was told.
The court heard Macduff Shipyards Limited had been fined a total of £2,500 for health and safety breaches in 1999 and 2000.
The firm, based at The Harbour, Macduff, admitted a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £8,000.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: March 14, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown