Company fined for hand injury horror

Hi Tech Steel Services of Bold Industrial Estate St Helens
Hi Tech Steel Services of Bold Industrial Estate St Helens

A STEEL manufacturer has been fined £5,000 after a worker suffered serious injuries when his hand was pulled into machinery.

Hi Tech Steel Services was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an incident at its factory on Bold Industrial Estate last June.

The victim, a 43-year-old man from Thatto Heath, was left nursing a six-and-a-half centimetre cut on his left hand, as well as crush injuries to the tips of his fingers.

St Helens Magistrates’ Court heard last Friday (April 27) how the worker had been able to gain access to a machine, which was used to produce reels of thin steel strips, while it was still operating.

He was taping up the end of one of the strips to stop it flapping about when his hand was sucked in.

Hi Tech Steel Services pleaded guilty to two health and safety offences after it failed to ensure the safety of its employees, and failed to carry out a suitable assessment of the risks to workers.

The Neills Road-based company was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,797 towards prosecution costs.

Speaking after the hearing, Christina Goddard, the HSE’s investigating inspector, said: “The worker was lucky not to have lost part of his hand, or to have suffered permanent damage to the nerves, blood vessels or tendons.

“It should never have been possible for him to tape up the loose ends of metal strips in the machine while it could still be operated.”