Clitheroe engineer seriously hurt in drill accident

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AN engineer from Clitheroe suffered a serious accident at work when his hand became entangled in an unguarded drill.

Michael O’Brien was working for the Jex Engineering Company Ltd and was attempting to drill holes into a steel plate, during the installation of a new machine at a factory in Leyland.

Unfortunately his hand became tangled in the drill’s chuck, resulting in serious personal injury which required skin grafts and a four-day stay in hospital. His injuries were so severe that Mr O’Brien has permanently lost movement in three fingers of his left hand and has not been able to return to work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that a guard had been missing from the drill from the time that Jex Engineering had hired it, but the company had failed to notice this before issuing it to Mr O’Brien.

Jex Engineering Company Ltd, of Red Hall Court, in Wakefield, was fined £4,000 with £3,250 in court costs, after pleading guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations.

A HSE inspector commenting after the hearing explained that any drill could potentially cause injury if not correctly guarded.