Man Severs Finger in Workplace Accident
Nottingham City Council has been fined after an apprentice suffered serious hand injuries in an accident at work.
On 21 August 2014, a 22 worker was using a motorised lawnmower at Seagrave Primary School. Nottingham Crown Court heard how the worker’s hand came into contact with the rotating blade of the mower as he attempted to clear a blockage. The worker’s right index finger was severed in the incident. He also suffered serious lacerations and ligament damage to other fingers on his right hand during the accident at work.
Health and Safety Executive investigation
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation into the incident and found numerous safety failings. Firstly, the council had replaced the manufacturer’s safety measures on the machinery and replaced it with their own design. However, the council’s own safety measures were not to the required safety standard.
Secondly, Nottingham City Council had failed to suitably control the risks involved and had not provided workers with adequate training to use the equipment in a safe and proper manner.
Furthermore, the HSE investigation identified failures in the level of supervision provided for apprentices when mowing lawns.
Sentencing and fines
Nottingham City Council of Loxley House, Station St, Nottingham today pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(2)(a) of the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974, Section 9(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998 and Sections 3(1) and 5(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
The council was fined a total of £33,000 and ordered to pay £12,000 in costs.
HSE inspector Sam Russell said after the hearing:
“The Council’s failings in this case have led to the worker suffering life changing injuries. The Council had for many years been removing a part of the lawnmower fitted by the manufacturer which prevented operators from gaining access to the blade. This meant that those operating the lawnmower were exposed to risk.
“This was a preventable incident which would have been avoided if suitable control measures, levels of training, supervision and monitoring were applied.”
Accident at work compensation – expert advice
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