Firm fined £8,000 after teenager loses four fingers in poorly guarded machine30 October 2012

Midlands-manufacturer, W P Metals, has been hit with an £8,000 fine after a teenage apprentice's fingers were severed off by poorly guarded machinery.

The 18-year-old lost four fingers when his left hand was trapped by the mechanism of a swager machine, which expands the ends of metal tubes so that other tubes can be inserted inside.

Surgeons successfully reattached two of fingers, but the apprentice's little finger and ring finger could not be saved.

The individual, who does not want to be named, now struggles to dress himself properly, the court heard.

The accident happened when the apprentice was lining up tubes for a permanent employee who wasn't trained or authorised to be using the swager, the HSE found.

Walsall Magistrates' Court heard the teenager was serving a three-month placement at W P Metals through LATA, the Logistics Apprenticeship Training Academy.

HSE inspector, Eve-Marie Edwards said: "The system of work for the swager was clearly unsafe. W P Metals Ltd failed to provide guards for the swager and allowed access to dangerous parts of the machine. Employers must ensure that doesn't happen and make workers aware of the risks involved."

Edwards added: "I hope this prosecution serves as a reminder to all companies that they must not leave dangerous moving parts open or exposed, and that only suitably trained, authorised and supervised employees should operate machinery."

The company, of Westgate, Aldridge, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £2,740 in costs.

Max Gosney

Related Companies
Health & Safety Executive

This material is protected by MA Business copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.