Finger loss fine

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A WIGAN firm has been fined after a worker lost part of a finger in a drilling machine.

The 46-year-old employee was drilling holes through an iron bar when his right hand got caught in the drill at B&B Group’s factory on Dobson Park Way, Ince.

The Leigh man’s index finger was severed below the first joint, his middle finger was badly cut, and his ring finger was dislocated.

B&B Group was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive following the incident, which took place on September 24, 2009.

The HSE investigation found the company failed to provide a machine guard around the drill bit to protect employees working on the equipment.

The court heard the drill took 30 seconds to stop after being switched off.

It was still rotating as the worker reached to turn it on again after moving the iron bar to drill another hole.

The glove on his right hand got caught in the rotating mechanism and pulled his hand into the machine.

B&B Group Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company, whose headquarters are based in West Bridgewater Street in Leigh, was fined £12,500 and ordered to pay costs of £1,703 at Trafford Magistrates’ Court.

Adam McMahon, the investigating inspector at HSE, said: “A worker has suffered a life-long injury to his right hand because B&B Group did not make sure basic health and safety measures were in place at its Wigan factory.

“Manufacturers who fail to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery are breaking the law and we will continue to take enforcement action against them. If there had been a guard around the rotating drill at the factory then the worker’s injuries would almost certainly have been avoided.

“This case highlights how important it is for manufacturers to make sure the health and safety of staff is their top priority.”

Mr McMahon said a total of 25 workers were killed and there were more than 19,000 serious injuries in the manufacturing sector in Great Britain last year.

Information on preventing injuries is available at www.hse.gov.uk/manufacturing.