A South Yorkshire factory worker severed a finger tip, after her hand became trapped in a poorly guarded packing machine.
Thirty seven year old Junu Thapa, from Doncaster, was working for King Asia Foods Ltd, at their plant on the Doncaster Carr industrial estate and was attempting to clear a blockage on the machine when the accident occurred.
Doncaster Magistrates Court was told that Ms Thapa tried to clear the obstruction while the machine was still running and her hand came into contact with a moving screw conveyor.
Ms Thapa lost the tip of her ring finger in the accident and required hospital treatment; she has since found alternative employment with another company.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the accident and discovered that a safety guard, designed to prevent workers accessing dangerous moving machine parts, had been modified in such a way that it could be lifted while the machine was still operating.
King Asia Foods Ltd, of Middlebank, in Doncaster, was prosecuted by the HSE and fined £5,000 after admitting a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, they were also ordered to pay a total of £2,506 in court costs.
Speaking after the court hearing a HSE inspector stated that the hazard posed by screw conveyors was well known in the industry and yet they still remained a cause of serious personal injury to employees.