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Engineering company fined after workers loses two fingers

An engineering firm in Perth has been fined £10,000 after an employee lost two of his fingers.

The worker, employed by Edwards Engineering (Perth) Limited, had been carrying out maintenance work on a grain dryer at East of Scotland Farmers on 28 June 2020.

He inadvertently placed his hand into the blades of an unguarded rotary fan in the grain dryer. The fan was rotating at 1200 revolutions per minute when it came into contact with the worker’s hand.

This led to his little and ring fingers being amputated. He was off work for seven weeks following the incident.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into this incident found Edwards Engineering (Perth) Limited had failed to risk assess the task that the employees were required to undertake. On the day of this incident, there was no risk assessment for the work to be done nor was there any safe working procedure.

It’s important that clear information is given to workers when using machinery. Steps must be taken to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery. HSE guidance can be found at: Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) (hse.gov.uk).

Edwards Engineering (Perth) Limited, Glenearn Road, Perth pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22 of The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £10,000 at Perth Sheriff Court on 16 February 2024.

HSE principal inspector Fiona MacNeill said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply  following a safe working procedure which would have prevented access to dangerous moving parts.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. More information about the legislation referred to in this case is available.
  3. Further details on the latest HSE news releases is available.