FINES AND INJURIES: MACHINE GUARDING NEGLECT

A Melton exhaust system manufacturer has been fined $40,000 after a worker lost four fingers using a machine that wasn't guarded properly.

MPI Global was sentenced, after pleading guilty, to one charge of failing to provide or maintain plant that was safe and without risks to health.

Frustratingly, this is the fifth such case this in a year, with over 126 similar injury claims, $380,000 in fines, orders, and costs imposed.

In this latest case the worker was using a press machine that shapes steel into muffler caps. The machine had a guard that needed to be removed to access the steel plate and a safety rod to stop it from coming down.

The safety rod had disconnected and when the worker tried to fix it, the machine crushed his hand, cutting off four of his fingers.

The worker underwent multiple surgeries and only two of his fingers could be successfully re-attached.

The company had been advised by workers many times that the safety rod was broken.

The court said the company should have used a better guard and serviced the machine regularly.

To work safely with machines, employers should find and fix risks, train workers, make safety rules, use proper guards, service machines often, and put-up warning signs.

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