Worker loses fingers, HSE prosecutes employer

After an employee suffered a personal injury at work that saw him lose two of his fingers whilst on the job, the Government’s Health and Safety Executive prosecuted the man’s Cheshire-based employer, personal injury solicitor experts recently reported.

The thirty four year old man, whose name has not been released to the public due to requests for privacy, had been working for the Proseal (UK) Ltd’s Adlington factory on the Adlington Industrial Estate.  The manufacturing firm employee sustained his injuries when a metal working lathe’s rotating mechanism dragged his hand inside, severing two of his fingers at the second knuckle, personal injury claims experts say.

An HSE investigation found that the anonymous worker had been wearing gloves when the incident occurred.  However, the HSE had published guidance nearly twenty years ago outlining the risks associated with wearing gloves while engaged in the operation of industrial lathes, and that the incident could have been completely avoided if the firm had merely complied with health and safety guidelines that were almost two decades old.

The HSE prosecuted Proseal (UK) Ltd successfully, leading to the firm admitting it breached health and safety regulations by permitting its employee to wear gloves while he operated the lathe.  As a result, Proseal was given a fine of £3,500 and told to pay a total of £3,807 in court costs for the role the firm played in the worker suffering the loss of his fingers.

An inspector for the HSE spoke after the court hearing, stating that the advice the HSE had published in the early 1990s was common knowledge within the metalworking industry by now, and that Proseal should have followed these guidelines.

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