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Company fined after worker loses finger

03 May 2018

A metal fabrication company has been sentenced after a worker was injured when using a vertical milling machine.

Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 7 December 2016, an employee of Complete Maintenance Solutions Limited was using the machine to drill a hole in a number of metal fence posts. While doing this the glove on her right hand touched the spinning drill bit and became entangled with it. This entanglement resulted in the amputation of the tip of her right ring finger to the first knuckle.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had not properly guarded the machine to prevent accidental contact with the moving spindle and drill bit.

Complete Maintenance Solutions Limited of Tower Road, Glover Industrial Estate, Washington pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1)(a) of The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £4,000 with £957.65  in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Christopher Lucas said: “This injury could easily have been prevented had the company put in place simple guarding measures. This should serve as a lesson to others in the metalworking industry about the importance of effectively guarding their machinery to stop others being similarly injured.”