AN engineering firm was fined after a Merseyside worker lost parts of three fingers in an accident.
Skelmersdale-based PRF Engineering, which makes outdoor shelters, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a 36-year-old man from Kirkby got his hand trapped in a forklift truck on May 19 last year.
At Ormskirk Magistrates Court the firm was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £5,164 in costs.
The court heard that the employee, who did not want to be named, had been helping to transport a three metre-wide metal sheet at the factory in Grimrod Place when he was injured.
He and a colleague were standing on top of the sheet to stabilise it on the prongs of the forklift.
But as the sheet was lowered the worker’s left hand became trapped.
He was taken to hospital by ambulance where his fingers were reattached but he has only been able to regain partial use of his hand.
The court was told the company had failed to carry out a proper assessment of the risks faced by workers, should not have allowed employees to stand on top of the forks and should have found another way to transport the sheets of metal, such as using a large metal basket.
PRF Engineering pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of employees.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Imran Siddiqui said:
“This incident resulted in an employee suffering permanent damage to his left hand because not enough thought was put into his safety.
“The company should simply not have allowed workers to stabilise sheets of metal by standing on top on them on forklift trucks. It would have been obvious to anyone witnessing this that it was unsafe. If PRF Engineering carried out a proper assessment of the risks its employees faced then this incident could have been avoided.”
The company did not comment.
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