Employer Prosecuted after an Injury at Ebbw Vale Recycling Plants Results in Amputation

Employer Prosecuted after an Injury at Ebbw Vale Recycling Plants Results in Amputation

Two employers have been prosecuted for safety failings after an employee sliced his hand open on a saw and because of it had to have his finger amputated.
The Health and Safety Executive held a prosecution case against the employers which was heard at Caerphilly Magistrates Court. The court heard that the 33 year-old man from Nantyglo was using a saw to cut lead into smaller pieces at the Jamestown Industries lead recycling plant in Ebbw Vale on 21st February 2012.
The employee of the Hertfordshire company Envirowales (the company who run Jamestown Industries) who wanted to remain anonymous was trying to get a piece of lead that had become jammed in the saw thinking that the blade was far back enough for him to do it safely.
He cut his right hand on the blade which severed his third finger. He was then taken to Morriston hospital where he had to have his finger amputated above the second knuckle. The saw had cut the tendons and artery of the middle finger.
He went back to work four months after but found it difficult to grip and pick up small items. He found that he also had aches and constant pins and needles in his right hand.
The HSE investigated the incident and discovered that the employee wasn’t supervised at the time and was not working with an experienced operator. He had been trained but not enough to know all the risks when the saw was retracted or how to remove material that had been jammed in the saw.
Envirowales Ltd and Jamestown Industries Ltd had measures in place to make sure that he couldn’t access the dangerous parts of the saw. The saw guard wasn’t adequate and the companies didn’t tell employees about the risks of the saw even when it was retracted. They didn’t supervise the employees and make sure that the worker who was injured knew every part of the work and equipment.
Both companies pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. Envirowales Ltd and Jamestown Industries Ltd received a total fine of £4000 and were ordered to pay costs of £8600 between them.
If you have been involved in an accident at work then you must take the following steps:
1. Report the accident to your employer and make sure it is entered in the Accident Book
2. Attend your GP or local hospital to have your injuries checked
3. Contact a member of our team on 0113 3930231
Read the original story here on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website

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