A Nottingham firm which makes garden and household tools has been prosecuted after a worker had to have his finger amputated when it was crushed in an unguarded machine.
Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard the 29-year-old shift manager, from Alfreton, was working at Fiskars UK Ltd’s Bulwell factory when the incident happened on 15 December 2011.
He had stepped on to a block printing machine, which embosses foil using a weight pushing down on a ram. As he was adjusting the weight in an attempt to help maintenance colleagues to fix a fault, the controls of the machine were operated by a colleague, and the index finger of his left hand was crushed between the weight adjustment and the top of the ram.
His injuries were so severe his finger had to be amputated to below the second knuckle. He was off work for a month.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found a perspex guard on the machine was missing. The company had failed to ensure a safe system of work was in operation for the weight adjustments on the machine ram. In addition, there was no safe means of access and no safe method for the isolation of the machine.
Fiskars UK Ltd, of Bennerley Road, Bulwell, Nottingham, was fined £3,000 with £2,288.10 costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
After the hearing HSE inspector Judith McNulty-Green said: “This incident was entirely preventable yet several failures led to a man suffering a painful injury.
“To adjust the weight, workers were climbing on to the front ledge, a practice which should never have been allowed. Instead, Fiskars should have devised and implemented a safe system of work that ensured no-one had access to dangerous moving parts. In addition the workforce should have been provided with detailed training and instruction in how to carry out the task.”
Free guidance on the safe use of machinery can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/
Notes to Editors
- The Health and Safety Executive 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
- Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.
- HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk