Content category: liability insurance
A Leicester engineering company has been prosecuted and fined after an employee had his finger crushed while using machinery.
On February 2nd last year, Benjamin Asare was carrying out work which required him to use a pneumatic press to insert bearings into their housings at Kaby Engineers Limited. As he was doing this, the ram came down onto his right hand.
The force of the impact meant that his index finger was crushed and subsequently needed to be amputated. Furthermore, due to the ongoing problems related back to these injuries he has not been able to return to work since.
A subsequent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident revealed that the ram was set to run significantly faster than was safe for this type of work and although the firm had identified that this was an issue when they purchased the machinery, it had failed to do anything about it.
Also the HSE argued that it was the first time that Mr Asare was using the machine and that his employer had not given him adequate training and supervision, while the company had also failed to undertake a proper risk assessment of the machine.
This, the HSE said, meant that workers had devised a system of work which had led them to put their hands in the machinery's danger zone.
On March 1st at Leicester Magistrates' Court Kaby Engineers Limited, of Upper Charnwood Street, Leicester, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £5,182 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
HSE inspector David Lefever said: "This incident was inevitable, yet entirely preventable. There were reasonably practical steps the company could have taken to improve the safety of the machine, such as using a two-handed control system that would have kept workers' hands away from the dangerous moving parts of the machine.
"The firm should have also carried out a risk assessment, which would have highlighted the significant risk and prevented the machine being used."