A SOUTH Tyneside engineering firm has been hit with a £12,000 bill after a worker was injured using a lathe.
Jack Ward was in the first year of an apprenticeship at Premier Precision Engineering Ltd, based at Jarrow’s Viking Industrial Park, when an emery cloth he was using got tangled up in the manual machine.
The accident left him with a dislocated knuckle and a broken bone in one of his hands.
He had been wearing gloves while polishing a piece of equipment at the firm, which has supplied machinery to the oil and gas industry since 1994 and employs 70 staff.
Yesterday, the company pleaded guilty to breaching the general duty to an employee at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
The accident, which took place on July 12 last year, was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The court heard Mr Ward is still an employee and he is making a claim for compensation separately, through the civil courts.
Fiona McGarry, prosecuting for the HSE, said he cannot clench his fist fully, but is well enough to work in the same role.
The investigation found there was an oversight in the safety regulations for how to operate a lathe manually.
She added: “The company did not have a safe system in place, which led to the victim’s injury.”
The court heard Premier Precision Engineering Ltd complied fully with the HSE investigation and was working to make sure its health and safety, and training procedures were always up to date.
Magistrates fined the firm £8,000 and ordered it to pay £3,875.10 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
In a statement read out in court, Premier Precision Engineering Ltd said: “We offer our apologies and regrets that this injury took place.
“Mr Ward continues to be a valued member of staff and was able to return to work after three months.”