• Robert Spicer

Workplace hand injuries: company fined £300,000

Hand crush injuries: £300,000 fine

Health and Safety Executive v Heathcoat Fabrics Ltd (2017) Exeter magistrates’ court, August 22

Statutory reference: regulation 11of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).

The facts

· In August 2014 Anthony Seward, an employee of Heathcoat Fabrics, a textile company, was preparing a piece of machinery for the next shift when his hand was drawn into rotating rollers. He suffered severe crush injuries to his hand and four of his fingers were partially amputated.

· The company had failed to safeguard dangerous machinery. It had provided a guard but when it ceased to function it was not repaired but instead was replaced with an emergency stop wire.

· The wire was kept in place for more than two years and was replaced th day after the incident.

The decision

The company was fined £300,000 plus £2800 costs under regulation 11 of PUWER.

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