Employee severs fingers on unguarded machinery

An Oldham based tissue manufacturing company has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an employee severs his fingers on unguarded machinery.

The 35 year old man was attempting to prevent paper from sticking to the seven metre wide print roller using a cloth to clean it while it was still in operation.

As he did so, the cloth became trapped between the two rollers, dragging his right hand in with it.

He had to spend four days in hospital and undergo surgery to his hand, but he lost two finger tips.

The resulting HSE investigation found that two guards to the machine had been removed a year previously. The guards would have prevented employees from access to the dangerous, moving rollers. They also found that electronic safety locks and cut out switches had been bypassed to allow the machine to carry on working.

No checks had been made on the machine to make sure guards were in place.

Consequently, following the accident at work, the guards were found in a storage container and reinstated.

Vicki Wright, expert personal injury lawyer at Swain & Co Solicitors, says, “Accidents at work involving unguarded machinery are all too common. Guards are in place for a reason, and it is unacceptable that they are removed for any reason, let alone for over a year.”

“What is more, the company deliberately bypassed safety features so the machine could run without the guards in place. If a machine is not supposed to work without the guards in place this is an indication that removing them is against safety precautions. As a result of this firm’s failings to protect their employees, a man has sustained lifelong injuries.”