Employee’s hand severed, states work accident claim

One worker from Cheshire sustained grievous personal injuries after his hand was severed when it came into contact with a plastics mixing machine’s rotating internal mechanism, according to the man’s work accident claim.

Widnes native Gary McKeown, aged forty two, had been working in his attempt to remove plastic granules from the base of a blending machine when the rotating blades of the blender sheared his hand from his body according to statements made in his accident claim.

Mr McKeown was immediately rushed to hospital following the incident where surgeons attempted to re-attach the disembodied limb.  However doctors were unsuccessful in their efforts to save Mr McKeown’s digits on his left hand.  Industry experts say his injuries could result in a subsantial personal injury compensation award in the near future.

The Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation shortly after the incident occurred, discovering that it had been nearly eighteen months since a safety device on the machine had been in proper working order.  HSE investigators also found that a mesh guard installed on the machine that had been specifically designed to prevent serious injuries had been tied back deliberately.

Mr McKeown’s employers were brought before the courts in a hearing to determine if they had been in breach of any Health and Safety regulations.  Matrix Polymers, located on Tenter Road in Northampton, entered a plea of guilty at the hearing and was found to have breached the Provision and Use of Work , was fined £3,500 with the same amount in court costs, after pleading Equipment Regulations.  The firm was fined £3,500 for both the breach and for court costs, resulting in a total fee of £7,000.

In the wake of the court hearing one HSE inspector stated that the machinery had been in use on nearly a round the clock basis.  Reluctance on the part of the company to enact repairs to the non-functioning safety system was likewise just asking for trouble, the inspector added.

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