Fine of £6,500 after 400kg die falls on worker's toes

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A Northamptonshire engineering firm has been fined £6,500 after a worker lost two toes when they were crushed by a 400kg die.

The worker, who does not wish to be named, was struck when the object was being transported across a tool room at the Bletchley site of Alumasc Precision on 18 May 2012. Although the top half of the die was secured to the crane by eye bolts, the bottom half was only secured using a G-clamp. As it was being moved, the bottom half fell away and struck the worker. Two of the worker's toes were so severely injured they had to be amputated. Alumasc could have done more to ensure the lift was safe, Milton Keynes Magistrates Court heard. The incident could have been prevented by securing both halves if the die together using a robust strap. HSE inspector, Karl Howes said: "This employee has suffered a severe and needless injury that could have been avoided if the right accessories had been used. "Companies must adequately plan and organise all lifting operations- including consideration of the lifting accessories that are being used, and assessments on how lifts are carried out." Alumasc Precision registered at Station Road, Burton Latimer, Kettering, Northants, was fined a total of £6,500 and ordered to pay £9,554 costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.