A housing trust in Tameside have been fined after one of their workers suffered severe injuries to his left hand when it was struck by a metal blade on a ride-on mower
The 24-year-old from Stockport, who has asked to remain anonymous, sustained multiple broken bones and had to have his thumb and forefinger amputated following the incident on Hitchen Drive in Dukinfield on the 28th of March 2014.
New Charter Housing Trust was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation uncovered that the organisation had failed to consider the risks from the work, provide professional training or to give clear instructions on what to do if the mowers became blocked.
Manchester Crown Court hear how the worker was using a ride-on mower for the first cut of the season, with a grass box attached. The chute to the grass box often became blocked, as the grass was long and wet.
On one occasion, the employee reached into the chute to clear a blockage when his hand met a metal fan, which was still rotating. He suffered serious injuries and is now unable to grip with his left hand or use his remaining fingers
The court was told how the worker had not received suitable training on how to use the mower, and was not aware that the fan continued to rotate for around 30 seconds after the engine was switched off.
New Charter Housing Trust, of Canvendish Street in Ashton-under-Lyne, was fined £140,000 and ordered to pay £70,000 in prosecution costs after being found guilty of a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Sarah Taylor said: ‘A young worker has suffered injuries that will affect him for the rest of his life but they could have been easily avoided. New Charter Housing Trust should have planned the work properly and provided appropriate training, so workers knew to wait for the fan to stop.’