A court has fined a building product supplier £30,000 for safety breaches after an employee lost three fingers in a dust extraction machine.
The Tarmac Building Products Ltd worker was removing dust from a hopper on the machine at its Swains Park Industrial Estate plant, Overseal, Swadlincote, on 27 September last year, Derby Crown Court heard on Wednesday.
The 45-year-old Coalville man was putting the waste dust into bags, lifting the sides from time to time to prevent creases and spillages. He was standing in the gaps of a pallet when he tried to lift the sides of the bag but lost his balance, falling forwards. He put his right hand out to stop his fall but three of his fingers went into the hopper and touched the rotary valve. They were severed and the injury meant he was unable to work for nine months, the court was told.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that the machine once had a dust recycling system but part of it was removed due to contamination allowing access to the rotary valve, the court heard.
Tarmac Building Products Ltd, of Millfields Road, Ettingshall, Wolverhampton, was fined and ordered to pay costs of £4,999 after admitting a breach of Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
Copyright Press Association 2013