Workers suffered hand injuries in two separate machinery incidents

A major steel firm has been fined a total of £1.98 million after two workers were injured in two incidents during 2014 and 2015.

Northampton Crown Court heard how a 26-year-old employee lost two thirds of his left hand and his middle and ring fingers whilst trying to clear a blockage on a steel tube manufacturing line which had unsuitable guarding.

In a further incident, a 52-year-old team leader lost part of his little finger when his left hand was also caught in an inadequately guarded machine whilst he was receiving refresher training.

Machinery guarding is fundamental

The firm pleaded guilty to two charges of breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined a total of £1.98 million (£185,000 for the first offence and £1.8m for the second offence) and ordered to pay costs of £22,500.

HSE inspector Mark Austin said after the hearing:

“Guarding of dangerous parts of machinery is a fundamental of ensuring workers safety. HSE will not hesitate to hold those accountable who do not fulfil their legal obligations, especially if that results in someone receiving life changing injuries.”