A County Durham cable manufacturing company has been sentenced and heavily fined for safety breaches after a worker lost a little finger in unguarded machinery.
Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard that on 24 September 2015 at AEI Cables Limited, the worker put his left hand into an unguarded machine during the cable making process. His hand came into contact with dangerous moving parts, severing the little finger and causing serious lacerations.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found there was no guarding in place to prevent access to the dangerous parts of the machinery.
AEI Cables Limited of Birtley, Chester-Le-Street County Durham pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations. The company was fined £40,000 plus costs.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Victoria Crofton commented: “This injury was easily prevented and the risk should have been identified. Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery
Moving machinery can cause injuries in many ways. People can be struck by moving parts or ejected material, parts of the body can be drawn in or trapped between rollers, belts and pulley drives. To avoid such incidents, it is essential to conduct a risk assessment before using any machine. This will identify the hazards, evaluate existing safeguards and ensure that equipment is free from defects. Risk can then be effectively managed.