Leyland company fined £14,000 after worker loses two fingers in machinery incident

A furniture manufacturer has been fined thousands after a worker lost two fingers in a workplace incident.

Monday, 23rd September 2019, 8:38 am
Updated Monday, 23rd September 2019, 9:38 am
The machinery that the employee was using when he was injured (Photo: HSE)

A&L Furnishings Ltd has been fined £14,000 after one of its employees was involved in an accident at its Leyland base.

The worker had been injured while operating unguarded machinery, causing extensive damage to his left hand.

It resulted in two of his fingers being amputated.

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Preston Magistrates’ Court heard that on March 19 last year, the employee had been using a horizontal drilling machine to make parts for a chair at the company site on the Centurion Industrial Estate.

It was at this point the fingers of his left hand came into contact with unguarded counter-rotating drill bits and became entangled with the machine.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that it was possible for employees to reach the dangerous parts of the horizontal drilling machine when it was in operation as A&L Furnishings Ltd had failed to provide a suitable guard for the machine.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

It was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5500.85.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Anthony Banks said: "The dangers of unguarded machinery are well-known.

"If A&L Furnishings Ltd had ensured that suitable guarding was in place, then this incident would have been avoided.

"Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement action when the required standards are not met."