Firm pays £330,000 after amputation of workman’s finger tips

A crisps and snacks manufacturer has been fined £333,000 after an agency worker lost the tops of three fingers in August 2015.

Northampton Crown Court heard how an agency worker was inured whilst clearing a blockage of material from a machine on the production line. His hand encountered shears and three fingers on his right hand were severed, below the first knuckle.

HSE investigators found that the guard on the machine was not secured at the time of the incident. The company had not implemented a formal monitoring system on this machine, to ensure that all guards were in place and secure before the machine was started.

Robust systems required

The company from Corby, Northamptonshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), and was fined £330,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,752.23.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Michelle Morrison said

“This man suffered a life-changing injury in what was an entirely preventable incident.

Employers must have adequate and robust systems to ensure that guards used to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery are in place and secure before machinery is put into use.”