The 53-year-old worker, who asked to remain anonymous, was operating a pie making machine at Minhoco 21 Ltd at Airport Industrial Park, Kingston Park, when the accident occurred on June 17 2014.
While operating the pie maker, the worker’s right hand was caught by the motion of the machine, Newcastle magistrates were told. The tip of his middle finger was severed when the blocker head moved down.
Lacked appropriate guards
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed the machine lacked appropriate guards. And it should have been fitted with a safety frame or false table to prevent access to the blocking and trimming heads.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Fiona McGarry said the guarding standards on these machines were well established.
“The use of a safety frame or false table to prevent access to the blocking and trimming heads is essential,” said McGarry.
‘Amputation of multiple fingers’
“Not only did the injured person sustain a partial amputation of the fingertip but it could have been a much more serious injury, including amputation of multiple fingers.”
Minhoco 21 Limited (trading as Geordie Bakers) pleaded guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, Regulation 11(1) at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court and was fined £2,000 with costs of £1,086, and a victim surcharge of £120.
Employers are required by law to prevent access to dangerous machinery. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 states: “Every employer shall ensure that measures are taken … to prevent access to any dangerous part of machinery or to any rotating stock-bar; or … to stop the movement of any dangerous part of machinery or rotating stock-bar before any part of a person enters a danger zone.”