Worker 'lost two fingers in pump'

21 Dec 2011

A heating contractor lost two fingers after his hand was pulled into a water pump, a court has heard.

John Shields, 64, who traded as Shieldson Heating, was checking a heating pump for Warwickshire County Council on October 4, 2009, when his hand was dragged into the hot water pump's running belts.

As a result of the incident, two of his fingers were amputated below the first knuckle.

A subsequent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation discovered that the back of the machine was inadequately guarded, exposing Mr Shields to dangerous moving parts.

Nuneaton Magistrates' Court heard that Mr Shields believed the pump was not running while he completed the work.

HSE inspector Paul Thompson said: "Mr Shields has unfortunately suffered serious injuries which have had a permanent effect on him - in an incident that should have been easily avoided if the necessary steps had been taken by the council."

Warwickshire County Council admitted breaching safety regulations and picked up a £7,000 fine along with £5,235 costs.

Copyright Press Association 2011

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