Unguarded Machinery Severs Three Fingers In Accident At Work

A timber company from Lincolnshire has been fined after one of its workers seriously injured their hand in an accident at work.

Shaun Newcombe, a 30-year-old man from Bourne, severed parts of his little, middle and ring finger when he was working on a roller conveyor on March 9th 2012.

His right hand touched the unguarded chains and sprockets when he was trying to clear a blockage, and the injuries he sustained required extensive hospital treatment, physiotherapy and counseling. He was not able to return to work for nine months, and when he was able to work, he decided he would be unable to continue working for the same company and moved to a different employer.

In a hearing at Lincoln Crown Court, Sewstern Timber Services Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations and was fined £18,000 with costs of £10,000.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that the company had received the conveyor from Armistead Engineering Ltd a couple of months before the workplace accident, but that it was not properly guarded.

The firm did not complete a risk assessment for the new machinery and therefore did not identify the hazard that led to Mr Newcombe’s injury at work.

Mr Newcombe said that he has experienced significant problems as a result of his injury. His wife had to be absent from her job to take care of him, and his children were also affected. He is now unable to play darts and has had to relearn skills such as playing pool, using a knife, and tying his shoelaces. He finds it hard to do some parts of his job as his fingers lack dexterity, his grip strength is reduced, and the cold affects his fingers.

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