A Solaglas maintenance technician lost his hand after it was severed by a huge laminated glass sheet, at a factory in County Durham.
The thirty four year old employee from Esh Winning, in Durham, who has not been named, was working at the Solaglas plant in Bishop Auckland and was investigating a fault on a recently installed glass cutting line.
Teesside Crown Court was told that the maintenance technician had activated an emergency stop on the production line, while he attempted to determine the cause of the fault, which was related to a sensor which released glass onto a tilt table.
Suspended above the glass cutting line was a large piece of laminated glass sheeting, which weighed almost a ton and measured six metres by three metres, as the technician was testing the status of the sensor a colleague accidentally activated a second sensor, causing the glass panel to be released.
The glass sheet fell onto the workers outstretched right arm, severing his hand at the wrist.
After being rushed to hospital surgeons managed to reattach the severed hand with partial success but the workers injuries were so severe that he was unable to work for several months after the incident.
The machines manufacturers and installers Lisec (UK and Ireland) Ltd, of Telford, in Shropshire, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and fined £100,000 after being found guilty of a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act.