A food packaging company have been handed a hefty fine following their failure to prevent injury to a new trainee.
In late 2013, the 30 year old male was undertaking his duties on a large industrial machine. During the job, the worker mistakenly left the machine running when not required and suffered an injury to his index finger after getting it trapped, losing the tip of it.
Following operations over the course of two months to repair the damage which the trainee had to take off work, he has recovered, although he now cannot properly pinch his finger and thumb together as a result of the accident.
The HSE cited a number of misdemeanours from the packaging firm, which included a lack of training and supervision for the trainee. He had not previously undertaken a job on such a scale and was not informed that he should have turned off the machine before proceeding.
The Leicestershire firm was fined £10,000 and had to a pay a further £941.35 in costs after their guilty plea for the breach under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
Natalie Wright of the HSE was succinct in her verdict on the company’s health and safety missteps:
“HSE had taken enforcement action against the company on previous occasions yet it chose to ignore the lessons of the recent past and once again it put workers at risk.
“There was no safe system of work in place for the task as well as a lack of instructions and training to ensure workers knew how to carry out the task safely. Instead, the firm’s failures mean a worker suffered a severe injury, losing the tip of his finger.”
Health and Safety in the workplace should be considered a top priority for all businesses, whether it’s a multi-conglomerate or an independent franchise. To ensure that you and your employees are up to speed on your responsibilities in the workplace, make sure you check out our Introduction to Health and Safety course and more advanced courses, such as our Manual Handling course and Office Safety course, to follow on from there.