A company has been fined £4,000 after one of its workers had parts of his fingers sliced off at a factory in Lydney, Gloucestershire.

The unnamed teenager was working at the industrial factory – owned by Albany Engineering Company Ltd – on May 3 2012 when the accident occurred. The 17 year-old was using a milling cutter along with another worker when he slipped. There were no safety guards in place on the cutter and his glove became caught in the cutter, causing the index and middle fingers of his right to be sliced to the first joint.

Read more: Health and safety breach causes accident at work

The company, formed in 1900, has been based in Lydney in Gloucestershire ever since. It produces industrial pumps and has, as above, factories at numerous locations in the UK.

A Health and Safety investigation took place after the accident. Following the investigation the company was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (“HSE”). The court heard that the Albany Engineering Company had previously been issued with five enforcement notices (effectively warnings) following routine visits by the HSE to its Bradford factory in 2011. It made the requisite changes in the Yorkshire factory but did not implement the same changes in its factory in Gloucestershire.

Read more: How to write a grievance letter

The company pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 by failing to ensure the safety of workers and failing to prevent access to dangerous machine parts. It was ordered to pay £4,000 as a fine and to pay £1,962 in costs. It is not currently known whether the worker is pursuing the a claim for personal injury in the civil courts.

Analysis

This case demonstrates that companies – especially those which utilise industrial machinery in their production process – must take adequate precautions for the safety of its employees. Failure to do so may result in injury (and possibly death) to its employees and could result in an inspection and prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive. This, in turn, could result in a finding of liability for breach of health and safety legislation, a large penalty and an award for costs against the employer.

Direct 2 Lawyers offer representation by extremely experienced solicitors and barristers in Health and Safety cases and can put you in touch with employment solicitors. Contact us today to get in touch with these lawyers.

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The Direct 2 Lawyers Employment Team post daily on interesting employment law cases, Employment Tribunal judgments and Employment Appeal Tribunal judgments. All of the Employment Team posts are written by qualified specialist employment lawyers

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