Berkshire Labels fined over employee's severed finger

A labels firm has been fined £7,000 after a worker suffered a serious hand injury in a workplace accident.

The employee severed a finger on his right hand and broke his middle finger when they were caught in two rotating rollers.

His employers, Berkshire Labels Limited in Charnham Park, Hungerford, admitted a health and safety breach at Reading Magistrates' Court.

The worker lost part of his finger. It is not known whether it was reattached.

Magistrates heard the victim was unable to work for six weeks and needed physiotherapy after getting his hand caught while trying to clean a coating roller on a finishing machine.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation following the accident on 5 September 2011 revealed the machine was missing suitable guarding and the accident could have been avoided.

Sharron Cripps, Health and Safety Executive inspector, said: "The employee's painful injury should not and need not have happened, and was easily preventable had Berkshire Labels fitted guarding to prevent access to the rollers."

The company was also ordered to pay costs of £5,637.

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