A ST NEOTS company has been ordered to pay over £21,000 after a maintenance engineer lost three fingers on his left hand. The engineer was working on a hot melt machine, used to glue components of prefabricated honeycomb cardboard. The machine s power sup

A ST NEOTS company has been ordered to pay over £21,000 after a maintenance engineer lost three fingers on his left hand.

The engineer was working on a hot melt machine, used to glue components of prefabricated honeycomb cardboard. The machine's power supply was not properly isolated in all areas of the machine and it began operating when he was still working on it, seriously injuring his hand.

The prosecution was brought against the company, Dufaylite at Huntingdon Magistrates Court today (Wednesday) by the Health and Safety Executive.

The company, based in Cromwell Road, St Neots, which makes honeycomb paper products, pleaded guilty to two charges: failing to ensure the safety of employees and failure to give adequate training. It was fined £16,000 for the former offence and £3,500 for the later with costs of £2,322.

HSE inspector Paul Hoskins said: "This incident could easily have been avoided if the correct health and safety procedures had been followed.All firms have a responsibility to protect their workers. Where maintenance work is being carried out, it is vital that machinery is securely isolated from all power sources. Electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic supplies should be locked off to prevent machinery operating

unexpectedly - this is essential. We will not hesitate to take action against those who fall short of the law in such a way."

The company was charged under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.