Firm fined after teen's finger amputated

A SUFFOLK company has been fined after part of a teenage employee's finger was cut off by unguarded parts of a machine.

A SUFFOLK company has been fined after part of a teenage employee's finger was cut off by unguarded parts of a machine.

Sharward Steel Fabrications Ltd,of Wimbledon Avenue in Brandon, was hit with a £1000 fine and ordered to pay costs of £1345 at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty to Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

It came after a 16-year-old employee was injured in an incident at the company on October 24, 2006.

The youngster, who is from Brandon, was working with company director John Ward cutting sheet metal on a guillotine.


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Mr Ward was then called away to answer a phone call and the young employee continued cutting the sheet metal.

There was no front guard on the machine, so he managed to push the metal far under the blade and accidentally pressed down the foot pedal, which brought the guillotine down and took the end of one of his fingers off.

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The resulting Health and Safety Executive investigation found that the machine was not adequately guarded and identified a lack of training and supervision for such a young person.

Julie Jarvey, HSE Inspector, said: “The dangers of using these machines without suitable safeguards are well known.

“Serious injuries such as amputation can result when limbs, or parts of limbs, are able to access dangerous parts of the machine.

“This serious incident could and should have been prevented by the company by ensuring that the dangerous parts were adequately guarded.

“Young persons are particularly vulnerable and companies need to ensure proper risk assessments and training is carried out for this type of employee.

“This case illustrates how things can go wrong when risks are not properly controlled and HSE will not hesitate to take action against those who fall short of the law in such a way.”

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