Chemical firm fined £12,000 over worker injury

A chemical firm has been fined £12,000 after an incident in its Runcorn factory caused a worker to lose a finger.

The employee, who is said to be 58 years old but who hasn’t been named, was working at the Ineos Enterprises Ltd plant in Runcorn, Cheshire, in September 2010 when the incident occurred. He was removing the rust of a hitch pin, which is used to connect a vehicle to a trailer, when his gloved hand became caught in a rotating mechanism. He lost one of his fingers, whilst two others were badly damaged as a result of the incident.
Ineos Enterprises Ltd was prosecuted over the incident, and the company admitted breaching health and safety laws.

The court heard how the wearing of gloves when using this machinery was not recommended by safety guidance, yet the company implemented a policy making gloves mandatory just three months before the incident occurred. Health and Safety Executive inspector Mhairi Duffy said of the case:

“The company ordered its staff to wear protective gloves on the factory floor, even though some workers tried to explain that there were often specific reasons for not wearing them.”

Ineos was ordered to pay £12,000 in fines and costs over the incident, although this would have been covered by the company’s employers’ liability insurance policy.

Leave a comment