Two Firms Charged Over Workers Injured Hand

Supplier And Owner Of Unsafe Machine Each Receive Fines


Two companies have been charged for safety failings in Swindon Magistrates Court over an incident in which an employee suffered serious injuries to his left hand.

52-year-old Richard Hale, who worked at Windsmere Stone & Granite Ltd in Melksham, Wiltshire, was cleaning a stone cutting machine when the glove he was wearing became tangled in a moving blade motor carriage.

He suffered extensive lacerations that stripped skin, muscles and tendons from his hand. Even after surgery Mr Hale was left with restricted finger movement and ongoing stiffness in the hand.

The court charged Windsmere with failing to fit adequate safeguards, while the machine's supplier Waters Group Ltd was also charged with failing to supply a safe machine. The companies were fined £2,000 each and ordered to pay a total of £8,357 in costs.

"Employers have a duty to assess the risks from machinery they use at work and should not assume that a machine will be safe as supplied or as installed - a risk assessment still needs to be carried out," said Health and Safety Executive inspector Andy Shaw.

Expert Opinion
Simple measures such as guarding on machinery can make a huge difference in relation to health and safety, with this case acting as a shocking reminder of the problems which can emerge as a result of failings.

"Health and safety has to be the priority for all employers and it is vital that all industrial companies take note of this issue and ensure that workers are kept safe from harm.

"We have seen numerous cases when people are left needing long-term care and rehabilitation support as a result of injuries at work and more must be done to protect employees from potential risks."
Stephen Nye, Partner