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Firm fined after apprentice has finger tips cut off by machine

By The Citizen  |  Posted: November 20, 2012

Cheltenham Magistrates Court

A TEENAGE apprentice had parts of his fingers sliced off at a Lydney factory after bosses failed to install safety guards on machinery.

The Albany Engineering Company Ltd was fined £4,000 at court yesterday after pleading guilty to health and safety breaches.

Cheltenham magistrates heard the 17-year-old victim, who has asked not to be named, was working at the manufacturers factory on May 3.

He and another worker were supporting a metal plate as it went through a milling cutter.

There were no guards in place and the teenager's glove became caught in a rotating cutter, slicing off the tops of his index and middle fingers to the first joint on his right hand.

The company, which produces industrial pumps, was formed in 1900 and has been based in Church Street in Lydney since 1946.

It was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an investigation.

The court heard the HSE had previously issued Albany with five enforcement notices following a visit to its Bradford site in September 2010 requiring improvements to machinery guarding including milling machines.

The company made changes at its Yorkshire factory but failed to make improvements at its Forest of Dean headquarters.

The company pleaded guilty to breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 by failing to ensure the safety of workers and failing to prevent access to dangerous machine parts. It was fined a total of £4,000 and ordered to pay £1,962 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Caroline Bird said: "A teenage apprentice just entering the world of work, lost parts of two fingers because Albany Engineering didn't do enough to look after his safety."

She said the apprentice's training had been inadequate.

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