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Buckinghamshire tape firm fined £5,000 after worker lost finger

An adhesive tape manufacturing company has been fined £5,000 after a worker lost a finger in an unguarded machine. High Wycombe magistrates was told the injured person was working for Technibond Limited at their premises on Millboard Road in Bourne End on 19th August 2014 when the incident happened. The worker was cleaning one of the machines whilst it was running. The cloth she was holding was drawn into the in-running nip which also caused her finger to be pulled in to the machine. The damage sustained resulted in her finger needing to be amputated. The court also heard the machine was not fitted with the Perspex guards supplied by the manufacturer. The defendant was not aware that these guards were available, though instructions on using the guards are contained within the instruction manual. Technibond Limited admitted to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, Regulation 11(1) …Read More

Marine demolition firm fined £42,000 after worker loses legs

A marine demolition company has been fined £42,000 after an incident that resulted in a worker subsequently having his legs amputated. Lee Pownall was trapped by his legs when a section of an old metal barge that he was assisting to dismantle in a dry dock beside the River Thames, in Erith, Kent, fell onto him. He has since had both legs amputated above the knee. Southwark Crown Court was told the barge was being cut into sections by two workers, including Mr Pownall, in November 2013. They were undertaking separate cuts in the same section of the barge. One worker finished making a cut to his section and it broke apart. This led to the section Mr Pownall was working on falling onto him. Secure Measures Limited, of Helmet Row, London, pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. …Read More

Tree specialists fined £3,000 after worker’s back broken by dumper truck

An Essex-based tree specialist company has been fined £3,000 after a skip loading dumper truck overturned and broke an employee’s back. Basildon Magistrates’ Court was told the 19-year-old man had been working at the rear of a house in Benfleet, Essex on 26 September 2014 when the incident occurred. The 19-year-old employee had only been given a few minutes training on the use of the dumper truck. He had no driving licence and was not wearing a safety belt when he overturned the vehicle, the court was told. The man was airlifted to hospital where he was found to have broken his back. He spent months in hospital and his injuries are life-changing. It is not known if he will ever be able to walk again. Oak View Tree Specialists Limited, of Rayleigh, Essex, admitted to breaching Regulation 9(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 as …Read More

Manufacturer fined £18,000 after apprentice suffers severe hand injuries

A timber mouldings manufacturer in Rochdale has been fined £18,000 after a young apprentice lost two fingers of his right hand while working on machinery. The 16-year-old apprentice, from Dresser Mouldings (Rochdale) Limited, was working alongside an experienced colleague on a moulding machine when the incident happened on 23rd July last year. Trafford Magistrates’ Court was told on 29th May that the teenager had been working on the machine at the company’s Station Yard Sawmill, when a piece of wood jammed and would not feed through properly. After the machine was opened to rectify the problem, the teenager looked inside and tried to help adjust the machine when his gloved right hand caught on the rotating central blade. His right hand was severely injured, and he lost the entire middle finger and part of the thumb. A Health and Safety Executive investigation found the company had failed to effectively prevent …Read More

Construction firm fined £5,000 after falling roof sheets narrowly miss karting party

A construction company has been fined £5,000 after metal sheets crashed through a karting track roof narrowly missing members of the public. The incident happened at The Raceway on the Park Lane Trading Estate, Oldbury, on 16th April last year, where Barnsley-based KSMT Ltd had been employed to overclad the roof. Sandwell Magistrates’ Court was told that a sub-contractor had lifted new metal roof sheets, which weighed three quarters of a tonne, on to the roof using the forks of a telehandler. However, the sheets and one of the forks fell off and through the existing corrugated roof before crashing through a raised section of the kart track inside and coming to rest on the lower section. Despite 10 racers using the circuit at the time, none of them were in the area where the materials landed narrowly having passed through seconds earlier. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation …Read More

Eight-year-old girl awarded more than £13m in damages after hospital blunders

An eight-year-old girl has been awarded more than £13m in damages after being left disabled by medical blunders at a Lancashire hospital. The girl, referred to only as “HS” in court, was born in 2006 at Royal Preston Hospital suffering from a streptococcal infection. The court was told that medics negligently failed to diagnose or treat her until it was too late, leading to meningitis, the BBC reports. Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has previously admitted liability and the High Court was told the failure to diagnose the streptococcal infection led to the onset of the potentially fatal condition. It left her quadriplegic, almost blind, with cerebral palsy and behavioural difficulties and unable to ever live independently or work, the court in London was told. Mr Justice William Davies ordered that she received the money to cover her past and future care, plus specialist equipment and therapies. He said she …Read More

Roofing company fined £7,000 after employee’s five-metre fall

A Lewisham roofing company has been fined £7,000 for safety failings after a worker was seriously injured in a five metre fall from a property in Bromley. Daniel Dennis, 22, from Lewisham, fractured his pelvis, back and broke his arm, in the incident at Dorset Road on 30th January 2013. His employer Element Roofing Co. Ltd was prosecuted on 28th April after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) established that more should have been done to prevent the fall. Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told that Mr Dennis was working with a colleague to replace lead flashings on the roof of a domestic property. While doing this work he fell from the roof onto the pavement below. HSE found there was nothing in place to prevent or mitigate a fall, such as edge protection or safety harnesses. Element Roofing Co. Ltd, of Heather Road, Lewisham, was fined £7,000 …Read More

Personal Injury: Teenager’s horrific arm injuries lead to court for Nottinghamshire firm

A Nottinghamshire company has been fined £40,000 after a 19-year-old employee severed most of his forearm in an unguarded machine. Mark Marshall, of Retford, was working on an assembly line at Kybotech Ltd’s site in Ollerton Road, Tuxford, when the incident happened on 11th July 2013. His hand and much of his forearm was severed and it was later reduced further during surgery. Mr Marshall has not been able to return to work since and he will also need a further operation. His job had been to remove treated wood panels from a conveyor and stack them for storage, using an old glove to manually apply wood treatment to any areas that had not been fully coated. This glove fell on to the conveyor in front of the drive mechanism and Mr Marshall instinctively went to reach for it. As he did so, his gloved hand was drawn into the …Read More

Personal Injury: Company fined £20,000 after worker severs two fingers

A leading international aluminium fabricator has been fined £20,000 after a worker severed two fingers when his left hand was trapped in the loading clamps of an aluminium metal extrusion machine. The 41-year-old from Tibshelf, Derbyshire, who does not want to be named, lost the end of his little finger and his ring finger to his second joint, as well as suffering burns, following the incident at Sapa Profiles UK on 18th March 2014. He was off work for eight months, after which he returned to the company in a different role. Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court was told that the man was working to unblock a machine that pushes out aluminium to produce a manufactured piece. Solid aluminium is fed into the machine and heated to around 450 degrees, to soften it, so it can be extruded into a die, which will create the final item. An investigation by the Health …Read More

Personal Injury: Firm and director fined £15,000 each after excavation collapse

The director of a building firm, who was partially buried when the high sides of an excavation he was working on collapsed on him, has been fined £15,000. Paul Connolly, director of Bushey-based PNT Contractors Ltd, had to be rescued by workers digging him out by hand after the excavation collapse at a site in Essex in July 2014. He was taken to hospital and suffered a broken leg and ankle. The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted Mr Connolly and the company at Southend Magistrates’ Court. The court was told that PNT Contractors Ltd was carrying out extensive ground work at a site in Crays Hills, Bilericay, when the incident took place. Paul Connolly had used an excavator to dig into the side of a slope, leaving unsupported excavation sides of up to 2.5 metres in height. Mr Connolly and another employee were …Read More