Basford firm fined £20,000 after worker's fingers are caught in blades
A BASFORD firm has been fined for safety failures – after a worker had four finger ends severed on a poorly-guarded machine.
Albert McEvoy, 53, from Nottingham, lost the tips of the fingers on his right hand in the incident at Murphy & Sons Ltd in Alpine Street, Old Basford, on 9 March last year.
The company provides hops and malt, yeasts and various other products to the brewing and food industries.
Nottingham Magistrates' Court heard yesterday that Mr McEvoy tried to feed clogged powder back into an industrial mixer through a discharge tube, and his fingers struck the rotating blades.
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Mr McEvoy lost the tips of his index and little fingers above the first knuckle, and the ends of his middle and ring fingers just below the first knuckle.
He was off work for several months and. although he has since returned, he now struggles with everyday tasks such as fastening buttons, using cutlery or texting on a mobile phone.
He may need a further operation to relieve pressure and pain.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was no guard on the mixer to prevent access to dangerous moving parts via the discharge tube.
Had a suitable guard been fitted, the incident would have been prevented.
Murphy & Sons Ltd was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £7,674 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Jayne Towey said: "Mr McEvoy suffered a serious and extremely painful hand injury because of a simple guarding failure that could and should have been avoided.
"The risk was entirely foreseeable, but no-one at the company had the foresight to consider the mixer was inadequately guarded.
"This was despite the fact that clear industry guidance is readily available and the fact that a large number of workers are injured on poorly guarded machines every year."
No-one from the firm was available to comment.
HSE statistics show that in 2010/11 alone more than 550 people were seriously injured in the manufacturing and processing sector after coming into contact with moving machinery or material being machined.
A substantial number of these injuries relate to guarding failures.