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Hand protection failings pinpointed in serious manufacturing accident

A health and safety executive (HSE) has found that a company's failure to install hand protection equipment around machinery led to an incident where a teenage apprentice severed parts of two of his fingers.

The Albany Engineering Company Ltd, from Lydney, Gloucestershire, pleaded guilty to breaching both the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 through the accident.

Cheltenham Magistrates' Court heard on November 19th that the 17-year-old apprentice, who did not wish to be named, got the glove on his right hand caught on a rotating cutter at the firm's Lydney factory.

The incident, which happened on May 3rd 2012, led to the machinery slicing off the tops of the teenager's index and middle fingers up to the first joint.

During an investigation into the incident, the HSE identified that no guards had been put in place to prevent colleagues from being injured from the rotating cutter.

HSE inspector Caroline Bird pointed out: "The company failed to adopt a safe system of work on this machine and failed to carry out a proper risk assessment of the work. The training of this young person was also inadequate."

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