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Groundworks firm fined after security guard loses fingers

A groundworks company has been fined £10,000 after a security guard lost two fingers when his hand was trapped between a metal post and a bulldozer.

The guard was called by a plant driver to help remove a trailer from a bulldozer at an APK Earthmoving site in Avonmouth, Bristol, in November 2017.

The driver operated the machine while the guard was moving the trailer and his right hand became trapped leading to the amputation of his middle and ring fingers, as well as a loss of movement in his index finger.

In a statement released by the Health and Safety Executive, the guard said: “I was off work for seven months and I still have a lot of pain in my hand.

“As I am right-handed my injuries have affected my writing, and there are many tasks at work and at home that I need help with.

He added: “I tend to keep my hand in my pocket because I’m concerned it will affect people if they see my injuries.”

APK Earthmoving Ltd, of Oxfordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

It was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,297.

HSE inspector Berenice Ray said after the sentencing at Bristol Magistrates Court: “This injury could have been easily prevented if a safe system of work had been followed, with the bulldozer ignition turned off before anyone was allowed close to remove the trailer.

“Employers should make sure they properly assess risks and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from their machinery operations.”

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