AN OXFORDSHIRE groundworks company has been fined £10,000 after a security guard lost two of his fingers.

A plant driver employed by Carterton-based APK Earthmoving Limited asked for the help of the security guard, who was working for a separate company on the building site in Avonmouth in November 2017.

The driver wanted help to remove a trailer from a bulldozer while the machine was being operated by the driver.

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However while the security guard was trying to help his right hand was trapped between a metal post and the bulldozer resulting in the amputation of his middle and ring fingers.

He also lost the movement in the index finger of his right hand.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that APK had failed to conduct its undertaking, the hire of mobile plant and driver services, in such a way that people not in its employment were not exposed to risk.

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The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 at Bristol Magistrates Court last month, and has now been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,297.

The injured security guard said: “I was off work for seven months and I still have a lot of pain in my hand.

"As I am right-handed my injuries have affected my writing, and there are many tasks at work and at home that I need help with.

"I tend to keep my hand in my pocket because I’m concerned it will affect people if they see my injuries."

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Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Berenice Ray said: “This injury could have been easily prevented if a safe system of work had been followed, with the bulldozer ignition turned off before anyone was allowed close to remove the trailer.

“Employers should make sure they properly assess risks and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from their machinery operations.”

APK's website says it can help with construction of sports pitches, golf courses, quarries and artificial lakes.

It also offers a plant hire business, renting construction vehicles to other companies.