Young apprentice loses finger on rotary press

The owner of a business that manufactures specialist adhesive tape for industrial applications has been fined after a young apprentice lost his finger on a rotary die press.

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Nuneaton Magistrates’ Court heard how the 16-year-old apprentice was adjusting guides on a laminating head which is part of a rotary die press. Whilst making the adjustment he tripped, put his hands forward and his index finger got caught in the drive gear at the rear of the laminating unit. His finger needed to be amputated as a result.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 9 September 2014 found that the machine did not have appropriate measures, namely guards, in place to prevent access to dangerous parts of the rotary press.

James Fussell (trading as Tecman Speciality Materials), of Berrington Road, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £6,000 with £1,754 costs.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Michelle Morrison said ‘If the company had ensured that access to the dangerous moving parts of the rotary die press had been prevented, then this young man would not have lost the top of one of his fingers. This was an entirely preventable incident.

Phoenix Comment “This young man now has an injury that will stay with him forever. Young workers are especially vulnerable and should be the subject of specific risk assessments to ensure that they are not at increased risk”.