Work accident news

Factory worker loses fingers in wood cutting machine

A pallet company based in West Yorkshire has been fined following a successful prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), after an employee suffered serious personal injuries in a work accident.

The employee had been working a night shift as a machine operator at the Huddersfield factory when the incident took place. He had attempted to tape up a hole in the chute of the wood cutting machine after spotting sawdust spilling out, but his hand came into contact with the moving parts of the saw causing him to suffer serious injuries.

The worker was forced to spend four days in hospital after two of his fingers were severed in the accident and he endured painful skin graft surgery to help repair his injured hand.

Huddersfield Magistrates' Court heard that workers had often been exposed to the dangerous moving machine parts whilst trying to clear or repair the saw. It was also revealed that the factory had been issued with a safety improvement notice by the HSE in May 2006 after a similar work accident had previously taken place.

The company admitted to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act and were fined £7,500 and ordered to pay £2,410 in court costs.

An HSE inspector, who spoke after the hearing, stated that the work accident could have been prevented if the company had restricted the access to the moving parts of the machine.


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