Leicester firm Kaby Engineers Ltd fined after worker lost a finger
An engineering company has been ordered to pay more than £15,000 after a worker lost a finger when it was crushed in machinery.
Kaby Engineers Ltd admitted breaching health and safety rules at Leicester Magistrates' Court yesterday after the incident at its factory at Sheene Road, Beaumont Leys.
The court was told Benjamin Asare, who had been employed by the company for less than a fortnight, was told to operate a vertical hydraulic press making heavy machinery bearings for large earth-moving equipment on February 2, last year.
Dr David Lefever, for the Health and Safety Executive, said: "As a bearing slipped, he reached out with his right hand and the press crushed his index finger which had to be amputated. He has not been able to return to work."
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Dr Lefever said the press, bought from a second-hand machinery company, was installed without guards being fitted and the risk of personal injury had not been assessed.
"It had only been in operation for four or five weeks and it should have been obvious a serious accident was likely to occur," he said.
The court heard that although the company had been told by its insurers that Mr Asare had received between £30,000 and £40,000 compensation, he had not actually received any money.
The company pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the safety of its employees.
Magistrates fined it £10,000 and ordered it to pay £5,182 costs.
Paul Burnley, representing Kaby Engineers, told the court that at any one time there were 100 machines working in the factory and that 240 people, including a designated health and safety officer, were employed there.
He said when Mr Asare was put to work on the press another employee "talked him through" how to operate the machine and demonstrated the process.
"The operative who had shown him was working on the bench next to him and kept glancing over – he seemed to be doing fine."
He said the press had been removed following the accident.
"The company genuinely believed the machine was safe."
After the hearing, Mr Asare, now aged 32, who lives in Oadby and is jobless, said he had a sense of relief at the outcome. He said: "At least now they have accepted liability and I can start to get my life back together again."
Company director Baljinder Singh Sanghera, who attended court, refused to comment after the hearing.
After the hearing, Dr Lefever said: "This incident was inevitable, yet entirely preventable.
"The firm should have also carried out a risk assessment."