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Accidents at work

Unsafe machine caused Iife-changing personal injury for worker

A worker has been forced to live with painful, life-changing injuries after getting his hand caught in an unguarded machine.

Shaun Newcomb, 30, was attempting to clear some blocked wood from a conveyor when his right hand came into contact with the sprockets and chains that drove the belt,  severing parts of his middle, ring and little finger.

He underwent two operations, physiotherapy, cell generation treatment and counselling and was unable to work for nine months. He is now employed at a different company as he did not want to return to the scene of the incident in Sewstern, Lincolnshire.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed the conveyor had been supplied by Armistead Engineering Ltd a few months before the incident, but that it was inadequately guarded.

At Grantham Magistrates Court Armistead Engineering Ltd, of Albion Avenue, Acomb, York, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974 for failing to protect people not in its employment and was fined £6,667 with £5,715 costs.

HSE inspector Berian Price said: “Armistead Engineering should have supplied adequate guarding with the machine and ensured workers did not have access to the dangerous moving parts of the conveyor.

“Sadly, because they didn’t do this a man suffered painful, life-changing injuries.”

Mr Newcomb said: “I’ve had to relearn how to do things like tie shoelaces and use a knife and I’m limited in what types of job I can do

“The incident affected my wife, who had to take time off work to look after me, and it also affected my children. My daughter wouldn’t come near me after it happened and won’t hold my hand now. My son is a bit older so understood more but was worried about hurting me and whether we could still play rough and tumble together.”

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