Missing safety guard results in severed fingers and £100K fine
A livestock feed manufacturer in Cheshire has been fined after an employee’s fingers were severed by machinery at a feed mill. Carlisle Magistrates’ Court heard how on February 11, 2019, a maintenance engineer working forNantwich-based firm NWF Agriculture Ltd was clearing rainwater in the pit when his gloved hand contacted the chain drive of a conveyor. The chain dragged his fingers into the nip where the chain winds around a sprocket severing the ends of three fingers on his right hand.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to ensure the guard was on the chain drive. It had not been in place for some months and a further opportunity was subsequently missed to replace it following a breakdown repair, carried out on the conveyor five days prior to the incident. The company was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,098.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Matthew Tinsley said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided had checks been carried out to ensure control measures were in place and safe working practices followed."
"This type of injury is entirely preventable with a robust pre-use safety inspection process," commented Russell Barnard, SG World Product Manager. "A pre-use inspection for this type of equipment would include a check that the safety guard was in place and operational and flag the machinery as being unsafe to use."