The William Lee employee was trying to clear a blockage of sand in a moulding machine using a length of metal rod when the blockage cleared without warning and the employee’s right hand became trapped between the rod and the machine, resulting in two fingers being amputated, and a number of fractured bones.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigators told Chesterfield Justice Centre that had a suitable and sufficient risk assessment been completed the company should have identified that there was a risk to employees created by intervention in the machine when blockage clearance was required. Specific procedures should therefore have been created for blockage clearance. The company could then have developed appropriate instruction, training and information related to the task.
William Lee pleaded guilty of breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act section 2(1) over the February 2018 incident. The Chesterfield-based company was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,000.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector David Keane said, “If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”