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Business

Print employee suffers finger amputations

A Newton Abbot printing company has been fined after its employee had to have fingers amputated as a result of serious injuries sustained while operating a machine in the workplace.

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The employee suffered finger amputations after operating a corner rounding machine

Neil Williams, an employee of photo processing, printing and gift manufacturing company Harrier, suffered severed fingers when working on a corner rounding machine.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the machine Williams was using is hand operated with top and bottom blades which can also be activated using a foot pedal.

As Williams placed his fingers between the blades “to ensure a flush fit”, his foot slipped onto the pedal and despite being of a protected design, the blade was activated and as a result severed his ring finger, middle finger and “most of” his index finger.

Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery

The HSE found Williams not to be “suitably” trained and deemed the processes in place for a safe system of work for this particular machine failed to provide guidance on how to change a template size safely.

As the result of a hearing, Harrier pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1] of the Management of Health & Safety at Work regulations 1999. The firm was fined £98,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,756 plus a victim surcharge of £170.

Melissa Lai-Hung, HSE inspector, comments: “The company fell significantly below the expected standard. Mr Williams’ injuries have been life changing. This incident was foreseeable and preventable.

“Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.”

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