Thursday 5 December 2013

Unguarded conveyor drive chain causes loss of 3 fingers.

A Lincolnshire timber company has been fined after an employee severed three fingers in an unguarded chain drive on a conveyor.
The circumstances were:
  • The accident occurred on a conveyor at Sewstern Timber Services Ltd., on 9 March 2012.
  • A roller conveyor had been supplied to Sewstern Timber Services by Armistead Engineering Ltd., a few months before the incident, but that it was inadequately guarded.
  • Sewstern Timber Services failed to carry out a risk assessment for the machine so failed to identify the potential for harm.
  • Shaun Newcomb was attempting to clear some blocked wood from the conveyor. 
  • As he did so his right hand came into contact with the sprockets and chains that drove the rollers and he severed parts of his middle, ring and little finger.

Sewstern Timber Services Ltd, was fined a total of £28,000 (inc. costs).
The HSE inspector  said:
“This incident could easily have been prevented had adequate guarding been in place. Sewstern Timber Services Ltd should have picked up this mistake on their risk assessment and tackled the problem to ensure workers did not have access to the dangerous moving parts of the conveyor. Sadly, because they didn’t do this Mr Newcomb suffered painful, life-changing injuries.”

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