Company Fined £40k After Employee Loses Part Of Finger

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is urging companies to carry out full risk assessments and ensure dangerous machinery is properly safeguarded, following the sentencing of an East Sussex company today over a workplace injury.

Britannia Superfine Ltd, based in Chaucer Industrial Estate, Polegate, were fined £10,000 at Lewes Crown Court today for breaching regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. They were also fined £30,000 for contravening regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company were ordered to pay full costs of £13,000.

HSE prosecuted the confectionary company following an incident on 5 October 2007, when a maintenance engineer went to view the job he had been allocated for the following day on the confectionary machine. Whilst viewing the unguarded rack and pinion gearing, he slipped and placed his hand out to prevent himself from falling, resulting in his hand resting on the rack just as the pinion rolled across it. His right index finger was crushed and had to be amputated above the second knuckle.

HSE Principal Inspector, Russell Adfield, said: "Industrial machinery presents many safety hazards and the proper safeguarding of equipment is essential if staff are to be protected. To expose staff to the dangers from unguarded machinery is unacceptable - and HSE will take action against those who fail to prevent injury risks."


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