A horticultural worker suffered serious personal injury, when his hand became trapped in a root packing machine.
Fifty two year old Edmund Skweres was working for A E Roberts (Fruit grower & Nurseryman) Ltd, when his hand became caught in the root packing machine, which is used to compress compost around a plants root.
Fareham Magistrates’ Court was told that Mr. Skweres was attempting to remove waste compost from around the machines jaws, when his right hand came into contact with a drive wheel, which cut through his glove and into the flesh, causing a deep laceration between his thumb and forefinger.
An investigation into the incident by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that the machine did not have adequate guarding, which would have prevented workers coming into contact with potentially dangerous moving parts.
A E Roberts (Fruit grower & Nurseryman) Ltd, of Shirrell Heath, in Southampton was fined £1,000 after admitting a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations.
A HSE inspector speaking after the court hearing described the accident as being totally preventable, had the company fitted a simple guard, which would have prevented access to the machines drive mechanism.