Firm fined after worker has his fingers severed

York Press: . .

A TIMBER company has been fined after an employee severed three fingers in an unguarded roller conveyor supplied by a York-based firm.

Shaun Newcomb, 30, needed extensive treatment and could not work for nine months after the incident at Sewstern Timber Services near Melton Mowbray, in March 2012.

Lincoln Crown Court heard an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the conveyor had been supplied to Sewstern Timber Services by York-based Armistead Engineering Ltd a few months before the incident, and was inadequately guarded.

The company failed to carry out a risk assessment for the machine so failed to identify the potential for harm.

Sewstern Timber Services Ltd, based at Skyliner Way, Bury St Edmunds, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act and failing to protect its employees. The company was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.

Armistead Engineering pleaded guilty to a HSE breach for not providing adequate guards on the conveyor at a hearing in September and was fined £6,667 and ordered to pay £5,715 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Berian Price 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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