Worker lost fingers clearing blockage in horrific accident at foundry near Sheffield

A worker lost two fingers in a horrific accident at an iron foundry near the Sheffield/Derbyshire border.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 3:57 pm
Updated Friday, 10th January 2020, 12:13 pm

The employee of William Lee, which casts parts for trucks and cars, was attempting to clear a blockage in a moulding machine at the works on Callywhite Lane in Dronfield, near Chesterfield, when his hand was crushed.

Chesterfield Justice Centre heard how on February 28, 2018, the worker was using a metal rod to shift some sand which had become stuck in the machine when the blockage cleared without warning and the employee’s right hand was caught between the rod and the machine.

Two of the worker’s fingers had to be amputated and the employee also sustained several fractured bones.

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William Lee Ltd on Callywhite Lane in Dronfield (pic: Google)

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company should have identified the danger by carrying out a sufficient risk assessment and put in place procedures for clearing blockages, giving workers the necessary instruction, training and information for their protection.

The firm, which began as a family business at Montrose Works in Sheffield before moving to Callywhite Lane in 1901, admitted breaching Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 section 2(1) and was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,000.

Speaking after the hearing, on Monday, January 6, HSE inspector David Keane said: “If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life-changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”