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Engineering company fined after worker suffers hand injury

8 June 2017

Thermal Engineering Ltd has been fined after a worker suffered a serious hand injury after a machinery incident.

Luton and South Bedfordshire Magistrates’ Court heard how on 15 December 2015, 63 year-old Chris  Davis was working at the site in Royson, Hertfordshire using a manually operated  metalworking lathe, when his hand became entangled  with the rotating workpiece.

This incident resulted in the worker later requiring surgical amputation to part of his left index finger.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the machine operators were using an unsafe system of work. The company failed to identify workers were routinely using this dangerous work practice. The investigation also found the lathe Mr Davis used had a faulty emergency footbrake, which had been reported to the company at an early date, but had not been taken out of service.

Thermal Engineering Ltd of Orchard Road, Royston has pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the company has been fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £834.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Sandra Dias: “Thermal Engineering Ltd failed to identify that employees were routinely carrying out an unsafe work practice when hand applying emery cloth to a workpiece rotating at speed.

“The company also failed to take the faulty lathe out of service, resulting in Mr Davis not being able to stop the lathe immediately. “All companies have a duty to ensure employees carry out work in a safe way and the machinery they are using is in good working order.”

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.[1][1]
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: [2][2]
  3. HSE news releases are available at


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