The Claimant who was employed by the Defendant, Worldwide Steels Ltd, was working on a press machine and suffered a horrific injury when the machine press crushed his right hand causing an immediate amputation to his right index finger. Inspectors said that the guard failed to prevent access to moving parts.
Worldwide Steels Ltd was fined £26,800 by Norwich Magistrates Court in September 2012 and also ordered to pay £14,639 in costs after they were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive. They pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. At the Hearing in September 2012, Health and Safety Executive inspector Joanne Williams said “[The Claimant] suffered a painful injury because the guarding on the press brake simply wasn’t fit for purpose.
“Accidents at work of this kind are all too common in the manufacturing industry, and the onus is on employers to ensure dangerous moving parts are adequately protected.
“Guards and safety systems are there for a reason, and companies have a legal duty of care to ensure they are up to scratch and working effectively at all times.”
The Claimant was unable to return back to work as a result of the accident and underwent several operations to his right hand. He had to adjust to using his left hand for tasks usually carried out with his right hand and received substantial care and assistance from his wife.
Eduardo Fontoura, a Trainee Solicitor at Levenes, said “it’s been a very hard and long road to recovery for my client. He suffered an injury that has changed his life forever and whilst the compensation that he has received will never change that, I hope that it will go some way to helping him to rebuild his life.
“This just highlights how important it is for employers to comply with the Regulations imposed by the law. The effects of not doing so can sometimes lead to devastating injuries such as the one suffered by my client”.