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Safety failings led to worker’s injury

A former Gateshead firm has been sentenced after an employee had two fingers broken when her hand was drawn into the dangerous moving parts of a large stitching machine.

The 52-year-old suffered damage to her blood vessels and broken bones to the middle and ring finger of her left hand after the incident and has been unable to return to work since.

HSE found that there were no safeguards in place to stop the worker accessing the dangerous parts of the machinery. The incident could have been prevented if the company had provided effective safety measures on the plant machinery.

The company was given a 12-months conditional discharge and ordered to pay £9,545 costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Woodhall, said:

“Unguarded or poorly guarded machinery is the cause of many injuries in workplaces across the country. In 2010/11 more than 1,000 people were seriously injured from contact with the dangerous moving parts of machines.

“Employees should not be exposed to risks to their safety through their everyday work.”