Simple Safety Measures Could Have Avoided Fine, Saved Finger


Worker Attempting Repair Fish Skinning Machine
A company boss from north west London recently appeared in court after a worker had to have a finger amputated when his hand was caught in machinery and severely crushed, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Ernest Henderson, 43, of Enfield, was working as a maintenance manager for Ian Goldstein, who runs a smoked salmon business at premises in Lowther Road, Stanmore, Harrow.
Westminster Magistrates' Court heard recently that Henderson was attempting to repair a fish skinning machine that was making a loud screeching noise when in use, when the incident occurred on 17 December 2010.
Removed Safety Guards & Switched on Machine
He removed the safety guards around the machine and then switched it on, but a rag he was holding for cleaning got caught and his right hand was dragged into the moving parts.His hand was severely crushed and his index finger was so badly damaged it had to be amputated at hospital. The injury means he still finds it difficult to do everyday tasks, although he has now returned to work.
An investigation by HSE found that Henderson had not been trained in how to repair machinery at the site, despite being the maintenance manager. His competence to repair machinery had never been adequately assessed and he was left unsupervised when completing maintenance work.
He had also not been given a safe system of work to follow to ensure he carried out the task safely, by not running the machine once the safety guards were removed. It was also found that the emergency stop buttons on the fish skinning machine were not operational.
Employer Pleaded Guilty & Fined $2,500
Ian Goldstein, 61, of Lowther Road, Stanmore, Harrow, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was given a two-year conditional discharge and was ordered to pay $2,500 in fines.
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.comContact:
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