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Fine After Workers Lose Fingers

Serious Work Accident


A plastics company from Newport has been fined £18,000 over an incident in which a worker lost part of three fingers.

Abertillery Magistrates' Court heard how the man was trying to clean a probe on a bagging machine at the A Schulman factory in October last year.

An investigation found that a dangerous moving part of the machine had been left unguarded, and the company had no system in place regarding the cleaning and maintenance of the equipment.

The firm pleaded guilty to charges under the Health and Safety Act 1974. As well as the fine, it was ordered to pay costs of £3,800.

Mike Batt, an HSE inspector, said employees at the factory were not aware of the risks involved, and "there was no guarding to stop them from accessing dangerous areas".

He added: "There was also no clear procedure for cleaning and maintaining the machinery which meant that when operators attempted to clean the probe, they were running the risk of serious injury."

Copyright © Press Association 2009

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

“It is imperative that dangerous parts of machines are guarded to prevent injury in a work accident.

“It is also vital that employers adequately assess the risks posed by a work operation and then take steps to remove / reduce the risks.”