Page last updated at 10:35 GMT, Thursday, 12 November 2009

Man is fined over injured worker

A Northamptonshire businessman has been fined £60,000 after a worker was forced to undergo amputation after trapping his arm in a machine at his firm.

Northampton Crown Court heard Zeke Mabbutt had been told to put his arm into an unfenced machine at Islip Furnace but his right arm was crushed.

His replacement, Danny Bedford, also suffered arm injuries 14 months later.

Paul James, 58, of Cranford, admitted Health and Safety At Work Act breaches. He was ordered to pay £17,500 in costs.

It is perfectly clear to me you had a slap-dash approach to safety
Judge Charles Wide

The first accident, in August 2006, happened when Mr Mabbutt was cleaning near an unguarded roller on a conveyor belt and Mr James told him to put his hand in between the belts and scoop out rubber debris, the court heard.

In October 2007, Mr Bedford suffered arm injuries after reaching into the conveyor belt to clear some shredded tyres. A guard, which covered the roller, was not properly fixed.

Judge Charles Wide told James: "It is perfectly clear to me you had a slap-dash approach to safety.

"These very serious matters amount to cost-cutting for profit."

Following sentencing, Health and Safety Executive principal inspector Neil Craig said: "Paul James' blatant disregard for health and safety has had disastrous consequences for these two young men.

"You would think that after Mr Mabbutt's accident he would have made sure that it would not happen again.

"This was a seriously aggravated case. In the first instance he told a worker to put his arm into an unfenced machine. In the second he allowed it to happen again."

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