An 18 year old apprentice had four fingers completely severed by a machine in a work accident.
The trainee – who has not been named – had been an apprentice for WP Metals Ltd for just five weeks when the accident happened in February. The engineering firm manufactures metal tubes for industry.
The apprentice was helping another worker on a tube–expanding machine when the incident occurred. The machine expands the ends of the metal tubes so that other tubes are able to fit inside.
The apprentice was lining up the tubes when his hand became accidentally trapped in the mechanism. This caused four of his fingers to be severed clean off. He was rushed to hospital where surgeons managed to reattach his first and middle fingers. The permanent loss of two fingers has made many everyday tasks difficult for him.
The investigation into the accident by the Health and Safety Executive found that the employee the apprentice was working with was not trained or authorised to use the machine. The machine itself was also not adequately guarded, so that employees could not access its dangerous moving parts.
A fine of £8,000 was handed to the company yesterday at Walsall Magistrates’ Court. It was issued after they admitted to breaking health and safety regulations in regards to the accident.