Accidents and Apprentices

Apprentices are prone to accidents in the workplace as much as any other employee. In a recent court ruling an apprentice lost 4 fingers whilst aiding another member of staff to operate a poorly guarded ‘tube expanding machine’. The fingers were cleanly severed off and fortunately 2 were reattached, however the ring and little finger were lost. As such the Apprentice was now disabled as per the Equality Act 2010; he suffered difficultly conducting a number of everyday tasks.

Upon investigation into the failing of the machine, It was clear that whilst the apprentice was aiding another member of staff who was not trained to use the machine that they should have been further supervised as they were both apprentices. Further the machine had not been correctly safety guarded. The employer was therefore in breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and fined £8000 in compensation, and £2740 in costs.

Published: 22 Jan 2013

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