Man loses fingers and thumb in mixer

AN Ipswich company has been ordered to pay more than �25,000 after a worker lost four fingers and part of his thumb when his hand got entangled in an asphalt mixer.

AN Ipswich company has been ordered to pay more than �25,000 after a worker lost four fingers and part of his thumb when his hand got entangled in an asphalt mixer.

Tex Engineering Ltd was sentenced at Basingstoke Magistrates Court yesterday following an incident on February 24, 2006, involving victim Stephen Beare.

The company, which manufactured and supplied the mixer, was charged with breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. Yesterday the company pleaded guilty and was fined �10,000 and ordered to pay costs of �14,884.10.

Mr Beare was a self-employed contractor working for Botley Roofing Ltd. The company had been appointed to carry out asphalt flooring work at a site in Southampton. Tex Engineering Ltd manufactured the Warrior 25cwt asphalt mixer that was being used on this job.


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On the day of the incident, Mr Beare went to check the temperature inside the machine to ensure that the asphalt remained at the correct consistency. As he looked into the mixer, he knocked a wooden batten, used to prop the lids open, into the machine. He instinctively reached into the machine to retrieve the wooden batten but his hand became trapped between the moving agitator and the inner side of the mixer.

He was unable to free his hand until his fingers and part of his thumb were severed by the moving agitator. His glove, which contained the severed fingers, fell into the molten asphalt.

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An investigation carried out by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that this was in fact the second accident to occur on this type of machine. In 2001, a worker in Seaford, East Sussex, lost his hand in an asphalt mixer in very similar circumstances.

James Powell, Health and Safety Executive inspector, said: “This was an entirely preventable incident that has left Mr Beare with serious life-long injuries.

“Tex Engineering Ltd did not adequately heed the warning from the first accident in 2001. By continuing to manufacture machinery with inadequately guarded moving parts, it put the safety of workers, such as Mr Beare, at risk.

“Since the accident in 2006, Tex Engineering Ltd, along with other manufacturers of this type of machine, has been working with the HSE to bring about design changes to ensure that this machinery will be safe for workers to use in the future.”

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