HSE urges employers to inspect equipment regularly after Derbyshire worker loses

Sheffield Occupational Health and Safety Association (SOHSA) on 2008-02-05 09:55:02

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is warning employers that they must regularly inspect and maintain their equipment to protect their workforce. This follows HSE’s prosecution of a Birmingham company after an incident which left a Derbyshire worker without four fingers and part of his palm. Severn Trent Water Ltd, of Coventry Road, Birmingham, was fine £19, 750 and ordered to pay £6,730 costs by Nottingham Magistrates Court after today pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. On 24 May 2006, Dennis Hawksworth, 61, from Breaston, Derbyshire, was trying to unblock a machine used for removing debris from sludge at Toton Sewage Treatment Works in Nottinghamshire, when his left hand became caught in the machinery. The interlock on the machine’s lid was damaged, leaving the dangerous parts in the machine unguarded. Mr Hawksworth lost four fingers and part of his palm. HSE inspector David Butter said: “This was an entirely avoidable accident which resulted in a man losing four fingers. Injuries from poorly-maintained equipment remain a significant and regular problem nationwide and companies must ensure that equipment is regularly inspected and maintained so workers aren’t exposed to this kind of risk.”

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