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Company fined after worker loses fingers in crush injury

20 July 2017

A company has been sentenced after a worker lost his middle two fingers while trying to repair its main entrance gate in Sheffield.

Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard that a guide roller on the underside of the gate at LKAB Minerals (Richmond) Ltd had collapsed and two employees were tasked by their line manager to make the repair.

On 18 January 2016 the two workers attached a four leg lifting chain to a fork lift truck to lift the gate, which weighed in excess of 400kg. However, the chains were too long so were adjusted using a shortening hook. One of the men used the forklift to lift the gate approximately 18 inches above the ground so that his colleague could access the guide roller on the underside. As he reached under to do so the chains slipped and the gate fell onto his hand.

The man lost the ring finger and his middle finger up to the first knuckle on his right hand.

LKAB Minerals (Richmond) Ltd of Coleford Road, Sheffield pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £8000 with £2080.40 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Eddy Tarn commented: “This injury was easily prevented and the risks should have been identified.

“Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in those safe methods along with effective supervision and monitoring.”

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.
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