Work accident claim sector experts recently reported that one West Yorkhire engineer lost his fingertip whilst getting the bugs out of a new whisky bottle cap manufacturing machine.
James Hill, a development engineer that was working on the newly-installed production line at Metal Closures (Huddersfield) Ltd, had been investigating some problems causing the machine to stop intermittently at the time of the accident, accident claim experts familiar with the incident said. The high-powered press, which was still within its development phase, was being put to use in order to produce around 20,000 caps a day in order to meet the demands of a new customer, the Dewsbury Magistrates’ Court was told in a recent hearing.
However, the intermittent fault that was plaguing the machine, which caused misaligned caps to jam up the press, was being tended to by Mr Hill through the judicious use of pliers to clear blockages. Unfortunately, as the engineer continued to investigate the cause of the repeated misalignment by placing his hand within the deactivated mechanism, one of his colleagues re-started the production line, unaware that Mr Hill’s hand was still inside – resulting in the loss of his right index fingertip past his second knuckle, leading to a personal injury compensation claim for the man’s pain and suffering.
The Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident as well, leading to the discovery that the machinery was still in its developmental stages, and as such was not fitted out with its proper safety guards and that regular safety procedures had not been followed. As a result of the HSE’s successful prosecution, Metal Closures, located in Huddersfield, was given a fine of £4,000 after they admitted to breaching health and safety guidelines.