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Firm fined after finger horror

PUBLISHED: 13:37 30 January 2002 | UPDATED: 15:24 03 March 2010

A FINGER severed in an accident at a Suffolk paper plant after safety guards were removed, has cost the firm almost £10,000.

Magistrates handed Lumipaper Ltd, which runs the paper-cutting factory at Mendlesham, near Stowmarket, a £7,000 fine for breaching health and safety law and the company was ordered to pay costs of £2,766.

A FINGER severed in an accident at a Suffolk paper plant after safety guards were removed, has cost the firm almost £10,000.

Magistrates handed Lumipaper Ltd, which runs the paper-cutting factory at Mendlesham, near Stowmarket, a £7,000 fine for breaching health and safety law and the company was ordered to pay costs of £2,766.

Health and Safety Executive inspector David Gregory told St Edmundsbury magistrates that labourer Ian Robinson had the tip of his left index figure severed as he worked on a new conveyor belt last April.

Mr Gregory said a barrier had been removed after a malfunction, and Mr Robinson was using his hand to operate a sensor, close to the equipment.

The inspector said the standards of safety had fallen "well below" standards which were "reasonably practicable".

The firm pleaded guilty to a charge of breaching the Health and Safety Act of 1974.

William Vandyck, for the firm, admitted that the safety barrier had been removed.

But he said the company was not risking safety to make more money and the lawyer stressed: "The accident was reported straight away and the firm acted quickly to ensure the guards were bolted to the floor so this accident or anything like it is not going to happen again."

Mr Robinson continued to work for the firm and has been promoted since the accident.

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