Employee loses thumb in gruesome printing press accident

One Northamptonshire-based adhesive company employee lost his left thumb in a gruesome printing press accident whilst on the job, according injury claims experts familiar with the case.

A teenage agency worker that had been doing work for Latrave Ltd, whose name has not been made a matter of public record, sustained the injury to his left hand at the adhesive tape manufacturer’s Wellingborough plant as he tried to remedy a known fault in a printing press.  However, his left hand was pulled within the press, causing massive damage to the digit, and necessitating his being rushed by air ambulance to the Royal Derby Hospital for emergency treatment.

Unfortunately, even the surgeons at the hospital’s specialist hand unit were not able to treat the wound, resulting in the complete amputation of his thumb.  The Government’s Health and Safety Executive learned of the incident, launching an investigation into the teenager’s injuries and the circumstances surrounding it and discovering that the inexperienced agency worker had been given instructions on fixing the problm with the printing press whilst it was still in operation.

The HSE, which presented its evidence in Wellingborough Magistrates’ Court, also found the printing press had been missing a safety guard and that the worker had been trained in a completely unsafe manner.  This led to Latrave Ltd to plead guilty to breaching health and safety regulations, with the courts fining he Wellingborough, Northamptonshire firm £8,000.

One inspector for the HSE issued a statement in the wake of the hearing, warning that the watchdog would not hesitate to take action against firms who neglected their responsibilities towards their workers in providing a safe work environment.

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