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Losing fingers as a result of accidents at work

By Katrina Elsey

Published In: Personal Injury

Companies owe a duty of care to staff and must ensure employees are adequately trained to carry out their jobs safely.

Man with hand caught in machinery

There have been many cases in the media recently where companies have been fined following workers losing fingers in accidents at work .

A manufacturing company in Cleckheaton was fined £300,000 after a worker lost part of a finger while cleaning a machine.

The worker was supervising five members of staff who were using a machine to fill tubes with a product that needed to stay hot.

During the process, the machine became contaminated and had to be cleaned. 

The employee was cleaning the machine down when part of it moved and trapped his finger.

In another incident, an engineering company was fined £10,000 after an employee lost two of his fingers. The worker, employed by Edwards Engineering (Perth) Limited had been carrying out maintenance work on a grain dryer when he inadvertently placed his hand into the blades of an unguarded rotary fan in the grain dryer. As the fan was rotating at 1200 revolutions per minute it came into contact with the worker’s hand and led to both his little finger and ring finger being amputated.

The HSE investigation found the company had failed to risk assess the task and there were no safe working practice procedures in place.

Katrina Elsey , senior associate in our Personal Injury team said: “Incidents such as these could so easily be avoided by simply following a safe working practice procedure and implementing relevant risk assessments.

"I welcome fines imposed by the HSE. Companies need to have adequate and safe systems of work to ensure workers are protected from the risk of finger injuries. Amputation of fingers can cause long-term employability issues as well as significant pain and distress which can sometimes be life-altering”.

If you've been injured in an accident at work, contact our personal injury specialists so that we can begin to support you. All calls are in complete confidence . Contact us for no obligation advice. Call 01302 320621 or email


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Katrina has over 25 years’ experience in the legal sector. She is a Senior Associate Litigation Executive in the Personal Injury department.

Senior Associate Litigation Executive

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