Fingertip Loss Costs Firm £20,000

Work Accident

15.12.2009

A Surrey-based food production firm has been fined £20,000 after a worker at the company's Southall facility had his fingertip sliced off as he cleaned a dough divider machine in February 2007.

City of London Magistrates' Court heard details of how the employee had removed a guard and was cleaning the machine with a screwdriver and an air gun. As he put his right hand into the enclosed space, a dangerous part of the machine sliced off the tip of his right index finger.

Noon Products Ltd, based in Thorpe Lea Road, Egham, pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 after it emerged that the machine was already in a poor state of repair and crucial safety devices were either broken or had been removed.

The company had already been served with an Improvement Notice for a separate incident prior to the incident in 2007.

The firm was also ordered to pay costs of £5,491.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “I welcome the fine imposed following this accident at work.

“It is, of course, a cause for concern that the company involved had previously been served with an improvement notice.

“Employers have any legal obligation to provide employees with a safe place and a safe system of work so as to prevent injury or death following a work accident.”