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Company fined after worker loses finger in unguarded machine

Date:
30 January 2014

A Birmingham company that manufactures components for the roofing and cladding industry has been fined after an employee had to have part of his finger amputated when it was crushed in an unguarded machine.

Kamil Patyk, 30, of Erdington, was using a machine to put folds into sheet metal at Fusion Architectural Building Systems on 13 May 2013 when the little finger on his right hand came into contact with a moving part.

He had to have part of it amputated in hospital and was unable to work for almost two months before eventually returning.

Birmingham Magistrates’ Court was told today (30 January) that when the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) visited the factory in the aftermath of the incident, they found guards for the machine had been removed and were lying behind it.

Furthermore, they had been there for several years – with the machine posing a clear risk in that time because dangerous parts were exposed.

HSE’s investigation found the company had given the shop floor manager health and safety responsibilities, but he was not given the time to carry them out. The court was told this was a management failing on behalf of the company.

Fusion Architectural Building Systems Ltd, of Hubert Street, Aston Lock, Birmingham, was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £775 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Cooper said:

“Mr Patyk suffered a painful injury that was entirely preventable.

“Incidents where workers are injured, or even killed, by moving machinery are easily avoided if employers provide suitable guarding. In this case guarding was available but was not being used.   “Effective measures were not taken by the company to prevent their workforce from accessing dangerous moving parts.”

“In addition, there was a management failing in that the shop floor manager was not given adequate time to identify or address and health and safety issues.”

Notes to editors

1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk

2. The wording of Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 can be found at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1998/2306/regulation/11/made

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