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Koch Straightener crush injury hands steel manufacturer £200k fine

A Cardiff based steel manufacturer has been fined £200,000 for failing to protect a worker who lost the top of his right index finger while using a wire-straightening machine at the firm’s Lichfield, Staffordshire site.

The magistrates’ court, North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard how on 23 October 2015, a 51-year-old worker was removing leftover steel from a machine called the Koch Straightener at steelmaker Rom’s site. As he was removing the material, his hand became trapped between the rotating rollers inside the machine and was severely crushed, resulting in the loss of the top of his right index finger.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that Rom, which makes rebar and piling for the construction industry, had failed to ensure that the machine was correctly guarded, that it did not properly identify the risk for workers using the machine and did not provide the required level of supervision.

Rom of Castle Works, East Moors Road, Cardiff pleaded guilty to breaching reg 11 of Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The firm was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,200.


Nic Warburton is acting editor, IOSH Magazine

 Nick Warburton was previously acting editor of IOSH Magazine. Before that he was editor of SHP and he has also worked on Local Authority Waste and Recycling and Environmental Health Practitioner

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