Partnership fined for worker's severed hand

Partnership fined for worker's severed hand 25715

A Norfolk partnership has been fined after a worker severed his hand with heavy machinery in a work accident.

Gavin Nobes was working at a lathe on February 27th, 2012 at Heckingham Hall when he almost lost his hand while working with machinery.

Marshal Brass, which trades as a partnership, was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 in costs after it pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 act.

This section of the act reads: "Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is used only for operations for which, and under conditions for which, it is suitable."

Mr Nobes' left hand became entangled while working on a lathe with a cast brass, clock face - the bezel was caught by a polishing wheel, in turn snagging his hand and arm, which then pulled him towards the machine.

As a result, his hand was severed and needed surgery to be reattached, but a second operation was required to insert a metal frame into his wrist. He is now only able to perform limited movements in his hand, which could become a permanent condition.

A subsequent investigation conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) concluded the lathe was not suited to polish the bezel on the clock face due to a strong risk of snagging. An alternative method to achieve this should have been available, or the lathe in question should have been adapted to allow this to be done safely.

HSE inspector Anthony Brookes said: "Duty holders need to carefully consider whether a particular job presents risks not normally encountered in more routine day-to-day activity and make the necessary adjustments to ensure a safe system of work remains in place."

He added such actions did not occur and Mr Nobes was left with permanent injuries as a result. In this instance, Marshal Brass was the duty holder for the equipment and displayed professional negligence by failing to uphold the standards outlined in the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 act.

By Chris Stevenson