Scotland business

Edinburgh firm Farnbeck fined after worker loses arm

Farnbeck Ltd premises, Edinburgh Image copyright Google
Image caption The incident happened at Farnbeck Ltd's premises in Leith in 2012

An Edinburgh manufacturer has been fined more than £46,600 after a worker had to have his arm amputated after it became trapped in a machine.

Akshay Phale, then 27, was working at Farnbeck Ltd in Leith when the incident happened in June 2012.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard he was trying to wrap cotton fabric around a rotating wooden cylinder when his arm became trapped.

Farnbeck were fined after admitting serious safety failings.

In the incident, Mr Phale was trapped for almost an hour until other employees, together with the fire service, were able to release his arm.

He was taken to hospital where he underwent several operations over a 17-day period, including the amputation of his right forearm below the elbow.

Permanent scarring

Mr Phale required several months of physiotherapy and suffered permanent scarring on his back, arm, leg and right hand.

He has not yet been able to return to work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the practice of allowing the cylinder to continue to turn when the wrapping process was being carried out had been in place at the firm for more than 30 years.

No measures had been put in place to minimise the risk or to change the systems of work.

Following the case, HSE inspector Hazel Dobb said: "This incident was entirely foreseeable and therefore entirely preventable.

"Where an employee is able to gain access to dangerous moving parts, there is a risk of injury.

"Farnbeck Ltd should have identified the risk posed to workers on this particular machine and made sure the rotating cylinder was switched off prior to employees coming into close contact with it.

"This unsafe practice had been carried out for many years and it is fortunate that there have been no other serious incidents as a result."

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