Company fined after worker loses fingers

Insulation panel company, Panelbond Ltd was sentenced today for safety breaches after an employee had three fingers cut off while he was working alone cutting metal sheets using an ‘Edwards’ metal cutting guillotine.


Grimsby Magistrates Court heard how, on 26 April 2017, the sheet of metal being cut had an upturned corner which didn’t fit flush against the backstop. The worker managed to get his left hand beyond the ‘guard’ to attempt to hold the upturned corner against the backstop. He operated the foot pedal activating the guillotine blade, consequently he suffered the loss of three fingers


An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the guillotine had been purchased from auction and had been supplied with ‘finger guards’ which prevents access to the blade from the front of the machine. Over time, the supplied guard had become damaged and therefore had been replaced by Panelbond. However, the replacement guard was not adequate to prevent access to the guillotine blade.


Panelbond Ltd of Omega Business Park, Estate Road Grimsby N E Lincolnshire     pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company has been fined £4000 and ordered to pay £7335.05 in costs.


After the hearing, HSE inspector Kirstie Durrans commented: “Serous accidents occur each year due to companies not identifying and managing the risks posed by machinery. The dangers of unguarded machinery are well known.

“If the company had ensured that suitable guarding was in place this incident could easily have been avoided”


Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.[1]
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: [2]
  3. HSE news releases are available at[3]
  4. Please see the link below to the page on HSE’s website that is the best guide to doing it the right way:


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