Firm Fined After Worker's Fingertip Is Severed
|A Cardiff manufacturing company has been fined after a worker lost the tip of a finger while using an unguarded drill.
Vaughan Thomas, 21, from Caerphilly, was working at MIB Manufacturing Ltd's factory on Rising Sun Industrial Estate, Blaina, when the incident happened on 26 April 2011.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the company which produces light steel frames and panels for the building industry, after an investigation revealed it had failed to ensure its workers were protected from dangerous parts of machinery.
Abergavenny Magistrates Court heard it was Mr Thomas' first time working at the Blaina factory and he had been sent there to work on placing and tightening bolts and screwing boards onto steel panels. However the panels were not yet ready and Mr Thomas was instead sent to help another employee who was drilling holes into steel frames.
He was asked to help load and unload the steel and was given gloves to wear. During the morning the employee carrying out the drilling was called away and Mr Thomas took over. It was during this time that his right glove became entangled in the drill bit, resulting in the loss of the top of his ring finger down to the first knuckle.
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HSE's investigation revealed that Mr Thomas had not received any information, instructions or training on using the drill and that it had been unguarded at the time of the incident. Also the operation of the drill had not been risk assessed and there was no formal system in place for checking the drill guard.
MIB Manufacturing Ltd (now known as Blaina Manufacturing Ltd) of Rhymney River Bridge Road, Cardiff, today pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,947. The company was also ordered to pay £3,000 in compensation to Mr Thomas.
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