Health & Safety Leicester

Leicestershire tradesman fined after employee lost fingers

Posted By Kerry Budworth on 2015-12-08 14:35

Local Sole TRader Fined Over Accident

Richard John Pullinger, a sole trader twho recycles cardboard in Polesworth, was fined at Nuneaton Magistrates Court after a 19-year-old employee suffered severe damage to his left hand. While working with the machine his hand was drawn into a roller press that had no guards on it.

The court was told that the employee, Wade Moore had only been working for Mr Pullinger for three weeks. On the day in question he had his hand on top of cardboard as it was being drawn into the rollers. The machine had neither guards nor an emergency stop button, another operator realised what had happened and put the machine quickly into reverse mode.

Damage To His Hand

Mr Moore lost a third of his fifth finger, part of his ring finger and thumb, he also had multiple fractures and lacerations of his hand. He underwent a five hour operation to limit the damage however, he still requires physiotherapy treatment and has had a further operation on his thumb.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the machine was at least 26-years-old and was in a poor state of repair. A prohibition notice was immediately issued after the incident and a guard was fitted to the machine days later.

Total Financial Bill of Nearly £20,000

Richard John Pullinger trading at Unit 5A Pooley Hall Farm Pooley Lane, Polesworth, was fined £13,000 and was ordered to pay £6,143 in costs after he pleaded guilty to a Contravention of Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 as effective measures had not been taken to prevent access to the dangerous parts of the roller press.

The family  of Mister Moore expressed their concern, they said

 “people do not realise the consequences this accident has had on this family – to put guards on a machine could have saved us a lot of heart ache. It was such an easy thing to do and the accident could have been easily avoided with just a piece of plastic to be put in place “

HSE Inspector Richenda Dixon said:

“This life changing incident could have been avoided if the owner of the business had fitted a simple inexpensive guard to stop a young man’s hand becoming trapped and passing through this roller press.”

Unfortunately people don't realise the dangers until the damage has been done. That is why a thorough assessment needs to be undertaken. This accident could have been avoided by the simple remedial action of fitting guards to the roller. If you have older machines that have not been upgraded, you need to assess them and get them retro-fitted to standards. 

You need to ensure that all of your health and safety precautions pertaining to machines in the workplace are continuous. This will help you to keep risks as low as reasonably possible. If you have any questions about health surveillance services, or you are looking for health and safety services in Leicester or across the UK, don't hesitate to call us on 01455 234 600 or contact us online. 

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