Derbyshire Aluminium Firm Fined Over Worker's Injuries

Man Lost Parts Of Two Fingers In Incident

19.03.2015

An aluminium fabricator in Derbyshire has received a £20,000 fine following an incident in which an employee lost parts of two fingers.

Sapa Profiles UK was fined and ordered to pay £1,784 in costs in relation to the incident in March 2014, which involved a 41-year-old worker who was unblocking an aluminium extruding machine.

The machine was restarted while the employee was still inside the danger zone, causing his hand to become trapped and resulting in contact burns and serious injuries. He lost the end of his little finger and his ring finger to the second joint, and was off work for eight months.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the interlocked on the machine did not fully isolate the power when opened, which directly caused the accident. A risk assessment had also not been carried out.

"It should not have been possible to access a danger zone without the machine being safely isolated," said HSE inspector Lindsay Bentley. 

"It meant operators who had to frequently unblock the machine were routinely exposed to unnecessary risk."

Expert Opinion
This entirely preventable incident which resulted in a man suffering serious injuries indicates the importance of the health and safety guidelines in the workplace. It is crucial employers take responsibility for the health and safety of workers, which means conducting risk assessments and mitigating any risks identified, as well as ensuring equipment is fit for purpose and fitted with all of the necessary safety measures.

“All too often we see incident such as this where workers are left with serious injuries as a result of failures on the part of their employer. We hope this prosecution will once again highlight to companies the need to take health and safety in the workplace seriously.”
Stephen Nye, Partner