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Norwich firm fined after worker’s finger severed

Date:
22 May 2014

A Norwich building company has been fined after an employee lost a finger on a poorly guarded machine.

The worker, who does not wish to be named, was operating a vertical spindle moulding machine to cut a groove in a straight piece of wood when his right hand came into contact with the cutter, severing the little finger.

Sprowston-based WS Lusher & Son Ltd was prosecuted today (22 May) by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation established the incident, on 17 December 2012, could easily have been prevented had better guarding been in place.

Norwich Magistrates’ Court heard there was also inadequate management and supervision of the way the work on the machine was being carried out.

WS Lusher & Son Ltd, registered at School Lane, Sprowston, Norwich, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £4,750 costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

After the case, HSE Inspector Malcolm Crowther said:

“The worker suffered a painful and needless injury that could easily have been avoided had there been proper safeguards and management supervision of the way work was being carried out on this machine.

“It is vital that operatives of such machines are properly trained and adequately supervised to ensure safe systems of work are used. WS Lusher & Son failed in their duty of care, despite there being industry training available from a number of providers.”

For information on safe working with machinery, visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/puwer.htm

Notes to Editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related 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. Section 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 states: “Every employer shall ensure that measures are taken in accordance with paragraph (2) which are effective: (a) to prevent access to any dangerous part of machinery or to any rotating stock-bar; or (b) to stop the movement of any dangerous part of machinery or rotating stock-bar before any part of a person enters a danger zone.”
  3. HSE news releases are available at press.hse.gov.uk

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