Kitchen manufacturing company Omega PLC were sentenced for safety breaches after a worker severely injured their finger in unguarded machinery.
Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard that on 8 May 2018, the worker was processing wood panels on an edge-banding machine at a kitchen unit manufacturing factory in Doncaster. A panel became stuck in the process. When the worker accessed the inner part of the machine to clear the blockage, his hand entered the milling block area, which caused a severe laceration to the middle finger on the left hand resulting in amputation.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the machine was inadequately guarded at the front. It found that employees would climb onto the machine bed from the unguarded front and were able to access the area of danger when carrying out activities such as routine maintenance and to clear blockages.
Omega PLC of Omega Boulevard, Capitol Park, Thorne, Doncaster pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11 (1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company were fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £6,000 in costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Anuja Mistry-Raval said: “Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.
“This incident could so easily have been avoided by implementing correct control measures and ensuring that safe working practices were followed.”