The young man was working as an agency employee for Latrave, a firm that manufactured adhesive tape in Wellingborough at the time the incident occurred.
He had only been working with the company for three weeks when he was called upon to try and fix a running printing press. Unfortunately, whilst he was carrying out this task, he severed his thumb and needed to spend five days in the Royal Derby Hospital’s specialist hand injury unit. Even after he was discharged, he was unable to return to work for nearly seven months.
The Health and Safety Executive investigated the circumstances leading up to the injury and Latrave was brought in front of Wellingborough Magistrates’ Court for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Mark Austin from the HSE said that the inexperienced worker suffered permanent harm because Latrave did not make sure he was safe when he operated the machine.
Unfortunately this type of incident is all too common, despite the strict health and safety regulations in place in the UK. Employers have a duty to protect their staff and yet far too many do not carry out proper risk assessments before allocating tasks.
Employees get injured, sometimes fatally, and the employer receives a hefty fine. All of this could be avoided if employers recognised that they were responsible for the safety of their staff.