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A Northamptonshire-based crisp manufacturer has been fined £330,000 and ordered to pay costs of nearly £12,000 after an agency worker lost the tops of three fingers in an incident at the company’s Corby factory.

Northampton Crown Court heard how the man was clearing a blockage of material within a machine on the production line when his hand came into contact with shears inside the machine and it severed three of his fingers on his right hand below the first knuckle.

When the Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident they found that a guard supposed to stop this kind of issue occurring was not secured in place at the time of the incident. The company had failed to implement a formal monitoring system on the machine to ensure that all guards and safety devices were in place and secure before the machine was put into use.

Tayto Group Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Michelle Morrison said: “This man suffered a life-changing injury in what was an entirely preventable incident. Employers must have adequate and robust systems to ensure that guards used to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery are in place and secure before machinery is put into use.”

If you or someone you care for has suffered due to an accident in the workplace it is highly likely that you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment for all employees. Where the use of potentially dangerous equipment or working practices are necessary, companies must ensure that systems and guards are put in place to avoid the risk of injury to workers and any visitors to the premises. If they fail to do so, whether or not someone gets injured, they are liable to be investigated and if appropriate, sued for compensation. Our solicitors have years of experience in this area of health and safety law, and as such are best placed to talk through your case and decide whether or not you will be able to make a claim. It is entirely free to contact us and you are under no obligation to continue with a case if you do not want to do so. Contact us today to see how we can help you get the pay out you deserve.