Blog - Accidents at Work

Fish Skinning Machine Accident Results in Workers Finger Amputation

An accident involving a fish skinning machine resulted in a worker having to have his finger amputated.

Ernest Henderson was employed by Ian Goldstein at his smoked salmon business at the time of the incident in December 2010. He was repairing a fish skinning machine at the premises in Harrow as part of his role as maintenance manager.

The skinning machine needed repairing as it was making a loud screeching noise. To make the repair, Mr Henderson removed the safety guards and switched the machine on. However, a cloth he was holding became entangled with machinery and his hand was pulled into the machine.

He suffered severe crush injuries to his hand in the accident and his index finger had to be subsequently amputated at hospital.

The Health and Safety executive found several safety breaches that contributed to the accident occurring. Mr Henderson was not trained to repair machinery despite being the firm’s maintenance manager. He had not been given a safe system of work to follow, one that would have not involved running the machine with the safety guards off. Finally, the emergency stop buttons on the machine were not working.

As a result of these failings, Ian Goldstein was prosecuted for breaking the Health and Safety Act. Last week, he pleaded guilty to the charges and was given a two-year conditional discharge.

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