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Machine that trapped man was faulty, hearing told.

A WORKER suffered horrific injuries after bosses failed to fix a faulty machine.

Gary Burke has been left unable to fully use one of his hands after it became trapped in machinery at a Tyneside factory. Mr Burke was working at Formica in North Shields in November last year when a machine he was using suffered a problem with a blocked feed belt.

The 45-year-old put his hand into the machine to check for any resin deposits but his gloved hand became trapped between two rotating metal rollers.

Gary, of North Shields, lost his right little finger and had two other fingers severely damaged.

HSE bosses told North Tyneside Magistrates' Court that workers had reported repeated problems with the machine but management had failed to fix it.

HSE Inspector Andrea Robbins, said: "Production problems were a regular problem with this machine and had been occurring for a number of years, yet Formica had done little about it.

"It had become custom and practice for workers to try and rectify faults themselves.

"The incident could have easily been prevented if the company had implemented safe systems of work for fault finding and ensured that guards were in place to prevent access to dangerous moving parts of the machine."

Formica of Cobalt Business Park, Newcastle was fined pounds 8,000 and ordered to pay pounds 4,741.60 in costs after admitting breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 21, 2010
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