£33,000 fine for Preston company after worker's wedding ring finger is severed by machine

A Preston business has been fined more than £30,000 after a worker's finger was severed while carrying out machinery repairs.

By Tom Earnshaw, Reporter
Thursday, 17th October 2019, 9:29 am
Preston Board and Packaging Limited in Green Bank Street, Preston (Image: Google)
Preston Board and Packaging Limited in Green Bank Street, Preston (Image: Google)

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how, on July 27 last year, an employee of Preston Board and Packaging Limited was trying to repair a cardboard slitting machine.

While in the process of lifting a chain back onto a sprocket, a roller attached to the chain dropped to the base of the machine trapping his fingers under the chain.

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The incident resulted in his left-hand ring finger and the tip of his middle finger being severed.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was no risk assessment or safe system of work in place for replacing and/or repairing safety wires and chains on the slitter machine.

Preston Board and Packaging Limited, Green Bank Street, Preston pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The company was fined £33,500 and ordered to pay costs of £5,527.16.

HSE inspector Mike Lisle said: “This injury was easily preventable.

"The task had been carried out a number of times previously and the risks should have been identified.

"Employers should properly risk assess machinery operations then apply effective control measures and robust safe systems of work to minimise the risk to employees from dangerous parts of machinery."

What is the Health and Safety Executive?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety.

It works to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses.

These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.