Worker loses fingertip in unguarded machinery accident

A young man, who works for a joinery company, has had to have the top of his finger amputated after it came into contact with some unguarded machinery and severed the top of his middle digit. The accident happened as the 31 year old was working on some door panels using a router. His hand slipped and touched a cutting tool which had been left unguarded after a tool change.

The HSE investigation discovered that that the machinery guard had not been replaced for a number of weeks and Magistrates were told that other workers had also been at risk of being injured as they used the router. As a result of the HSE’s findings the joinery firm has been fined for safety failings for the sum of £2,000 and ordered to pay £766 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

An HSE Inspector commented:

“The worker suffered a painful injury and is now permanently disfigured as a result of an incident that was entirely preventable had the safety guard been in place.

“A substantial number of the injuries reported to HSE involve workers coming into contact with dangerous moving parts, particularly in a manufacturing environment. The risks are clear and safety guidance is freely available covering guarding requirements.”

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