Tata Steel has been fined after two workers suffered injuries to their hands in two separate incidents involving machinery at its plant in Corby.
Northampton Crown Court heard how a 26-year-old employee lost two thirds of his left hand and his middle and ring fingers whilst trying to clear a blockage on a steel tube manufacturing line which had unsuitable guarding, and in a separate incident, a 52-year-old team leader lost part of his little finger when his left hand was caught, again in an inadequately guarded machine, whilst he was receiving refresher training.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incidents which occurred on 12 September 2014 and 19 February 2015 found that there was a failure to appropriately guard and manage the risks arising from dangerous parts of these items of machinery.
Tata UK Limited, of Millbank, London, pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined a total of £1.98million (£185,000 was for the first offence and £1.8m for the second offence) and ordered to pay costs of £22,500.
HSE inspector Mark Austin said after the hearing: Guarding of dangerous parts of machinery is a fundamental of ensuring workers safety, HSE will not hesitate to hold those accountable who do not fulfil their legal obligations, especially if that results in someone receiving life changing injuries.
The HSE decision to prosecute is always made in line with the principles set out in the published Enforcement Policy Statement. The level of fine is a matter for the courts.
For further information on machinery visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/