A healthcare manufacturer has been fined after a factory worker lost part of his thumb when it became trapped in machinery.
Synergy Health (UK) Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after an investigation found the guards on its dry wipes machine at its Chorley factory were not sufficient, and the worker had not received adequate training.
Leyland Magistrates’ Court was told that a 39-year-old man from Bamber Bridge had been working on a machine at the plant on the Matrix Park industrial estate in Buckshaw Village, near Chorley, in November 2011.
As he reached into the tunnel leading out of the machine to stop it becoming blocked with wipes that had not been cut properly, he caught his hand in the slatted conveyor belt.
The worker lost the top of his thumb down to the first knuckle when the conveyor belt forced it against a metal plate.
The court heard that the company had failed to carry out a proper risk assessment for the work and so had not identified the risk of worker’s hands becoming trapped in the conveyor belt.
Synergy Health, based in Swindon, Wiltshire, pleaded guilty to breaching regulations by failing to prevent access to dangerous machine parts.
The company was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,573.
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