Dronfield company fined after worker loses two fingers in accident

A Dronfield firm has been fined £60,000 after one of its workers had to have two fingers amputated following an industrial accident.

Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 8:38 am
Updated Monday, 20th January 2020, 11:18 am

The employee was clearing out a blockage on sand in a moulding machine using a length of metal rod at William Lee Ltd on Callywhite Lane, Dronfield.

Chesterfield Justice Centre heard that, on February 28 2018, the blockage cleared without warning and the employee’s right hand was crushed between the rod and the machine, resulting in two fingers being amputated, and a number of fractured bones.

The Health and Safety Executive, (HSE), prosecuted the firm, which casts parts for the automotive industry.

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William Lee Ltd of Callywhite Lane, Dronfield

The HSE’s investigation revealed that if a ‘suitable and sufficient’ risk assessment been completed, the company should have identified that there was a risk to employees created by intervention in the machine when blockage clearance was required.

The HSE said at the hearing that specific procedures should have been created for blockage clearance, and that the company could have developed appropriate instruction, training and information related to the task.

William Lee Ltd of Callywhite Lane, Dronfield, pleaded guilty of breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 section 2(1).

The company was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,000.

Speaking after the hearing, 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.”