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Norwich building company prosecuted after employee severs finger at work
Published:  03 June, 2014

WS Lusher & Son Ltd was fined after an employee lost a finger on a poorly guarded machine. The worker, who does not wish to be named, was operating a vertical spindle moulding machine to cut a groove in a straight piece of wood when his right hand came into contact with the cutter, severing the little finger.

The worker, who does not wish to be named, was operating a vertical spindle moulding machine to cut a groove in a straight piece of wood when his right hand came into contact with the cutter, severing the little finger.

Sprowston-based WS Lusher & Son Ltd was prosecuted on 22 May, 2014 by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation established the incident, on 17 December, 2012, could easily have been prevented had better guarding been in place.

Norwich Magistrates’ Court heard there was also inadequate management and supervision of how the work on the machine was being carried out.

WS Lusher & Son Ltd, registered at School Lane, Sprowston, Norwich, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £4,750 costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

After the case, HSE Inspector Malcolm Crowther said: “The worker suffered a painful and needless injury that could easily have been avoided had there been proper safeguards and management supervision of the way work was being carried out on this machine.

“It is vital that operatives of such machines are properly trained and adequately supervised to ensure safe systems of work are used. WS Lusher & Son failed in their duty of care, despite there being industry training available from a number of providers.”

For information on safe working with machinery, visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/puwer.htm