A worker at a metals and chemical company had two of his fingers accidentally crushed in an accident involving a 10 tonne power hammer.
The unnamed man was at work for Johnson Matthey Plc at the time. He was using a 10-tonne power hammer at the company’s site in Hertfordshire when the accident happened in March 2011.
The man was using the hammer to crush waste metal pieces. Unfortunately, whilst using the machine, his left hand was accidentally caught by the hammer. This caused a devastating crush injury to two of his fingers.
The massive force of the power hammer effectively severed the index and middle fingers on his left hand.
The Health and Safety executive subsequently investigated and found that the power hammer was unguarded. On top of this, it was being used in an incorrect and dangerous manner. Using the hammer in this way had become a regular and commonplace occurrence at the site.
The HSE brought a prosecution and the company pleaded guilty last week to breaking work equipment regulations. As a result of this plea, they were fined £20,000 at Hertford Magistrates’ Court on Friday.