Crystal Maker Fined After Worker Loses Finger

A court has fined a Cumbrian lead crystal maker £15,000 after a worker lost a finger in an accident.

Laura Ponsford’s latex gloves became entangled in the drill she was using to expand the neck of a bottle. Her right hand was dragged into the mechanism and the middle finger was cut off.

The 21-year-old underwent a ten-hour operation, but efforts to reattach the severed finger were unsuccessful. She then needed a second operation the following month to amputate the finger.

Mrs Ponsford had been working at Greatdale Limited, trading as Cumbria Crystal, for a year when the accident happened in February 2015.

worker loses fingerA Health and Safety Executive investigation at the premises, the Lakes Glass Centre in Oubas Hill, Ulverston, revealed that moving parts of the drill she was using were not guarded.

Mrs Ponsford no longer works for the company.

HSE inspectors told Preston Crown Court that the accident could have been avoided if a proper risk assessment had taken place and safety measures were taken. The firm admitted breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

“This incident could have been prevented simply by providing guarding to prevent access to dangerous parts of the machine,” said HSE inspector Leona Cameron after the hearing.

“The need to guard dangerous parts of machinery is well known with established industry guidance available, and in this case, the result of that guidance being ignored is a serious injury to a young woman.”

Macks Solicitors are the experts in recovering compensation for accidents in the workplace. Call 0800 882 4894 to speak to one of our specialists.

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