Thrapston firm fined after worker’s hand crushed

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A Northamptonshire sweet maker has been fined for safety breaches after a worker severely injured his hand in machinery.

The 28 year-old worker, who does not wish to be named, was running a machine at Tilley’s Sweets in Thrapston on June 9, 2011 when the machine got jammed.

He put in his hand to remove the sweets but the glove on his right hand got caught, pulling his hand into the dangerous moving parts.

The man’s hand was severely damaged and required several operations to straighten the tendons. He was off work for four months and continues to have physiotherapy and struggles with use of his damaged hand.

Kettering Magistrates heard today (Wednesday, February 20) a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found Tilley’s Sweets failed to protect the safety of their employees by not preventing access to dangerous parts of machinery. A guard would have prevented the incident from happening.

After the incident the HSE served a prohibition notice halting further work on the machine until the firm put a safety guard in place.

Tilley’s Sweets of Springfields, Oundle Road pleaded guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1988 and were fined £1,500 with costs of £5,175.

Speaking after the case, HSE Inspector Elizabeth Hornsby said: “This incident was debilitating and traumatic for the employee yet a simple guard would have stopped this from happening.

“Organisations have a duty to protect their workforce and HSE will not hesitate to prosecute those who break the law in this way.”