Poorly guarded machinery leads to serious hand injury

Industry news roundup: week ended 21 Jan 2013:

It was revealed this week that a serious personal injury at work involving a piece of machinery that was poorly guarded has resulted in fines for one employer.

According to a hearing recently occurring at Stafford Magistrates’ Court, an unnamed employee of Bathgate Slate Technologies Limited, a Newcastle-under-Lyme building products manufacturer, suffered serious injuries to his hand after a run-in with a piece of machinery that was poorly guarded. Bathgate had been trialling the new piece of machinery – which produced bricks coated with sand – at the time of the incident, which involved the employee’s hand becoming trapped within the machine as he reached in to remove finished bricks from within it.

According to the injured worker’s personal injury claims, he had been removing the bricks from the conveyor at the end of the machine, but when he reached in his hand became pinned between the conveyor belt and a roller just underneath it. This crushed his hand so severely that, upon rushing him to the North Staffordshire Hospital, it was discovered that there was no way to save his little finger and that doctors had little choice but to amputate it in order to save the hand; the injured man’s ring finger was also damaged so severely by his injury that it necessitated the surgical implantation of a pin.

The Health and Safety Executive went positively mad after discovering that the incident occurred, sending investigators to Bathgate Slate to get to the bottom of such a gruesome and painful work accident. HSE invesigators discovered that there had been plans to install proper safety guarding to the brick making machine once the trial period had come to an end, even though installing the guards during the trial would have completely prevented the painful and debilitating injuries sustained by the hapless worker. been totally avoided.

The HSE prosecuted Bathgate Slate, which resulted in the Chesterton-based manufacturer to admit its guilt in breaching Health and Safety rules. The company was slapped with a £4,000 fine with an additional £5.464 in legal fees and court costs for its mistake.

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