A worker who had his thumb ripped off in an horrific accident at a bowling alley says he is getting on with life the best way he can.
Andrew Elliott, a technician at Morecambe Superbowl, was left with permanent injuries after an incident on a live pin setting machine.
Preston Crown Court heard that although surgeons managed to re-attach the digit, Mr Elliott was left with limited use of his thumb and hand. Taylors Superbowl Ltd, which operates Morecambe Superbowl on Central Drive, was handed a £40,000 fine for health and safety breaches by a judge.
The company was also ordered to pay a total of £15,760 in costs and a victim surcharge of £120.
The company had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act
The first offence related to the incident on February 27, 2013 in which Andrew Elliott had his thumb ripped off.
During an investigation by Lancaster City Council it was discovered that the pin-machinery was unsafe due to inadequate guarding and protection.
Access to dangerous moving parts of machinery was possible and there was inadequate protection for employees.
The second offence related to a prohibition notice to prevent unsafe work practices which had been issued following the accident.
The notice was breached less than a month later on March 26, 2013 when another technician was seen working on the machinery while it was running.
Coun Karen Leytham, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental health, said: “A few simple measures could easily have prevented Mr Elliott’s accident and as a result of them not being in place, he has been left with a long term injury that has significantly lowered his quality of life. This is the sort of case which demonstrates just what happens if employers are complacent and fail to take seriously the safety of their workforce.
“Lancaster City Council expects that employers and managers will take every reasonable precaution to avoid serious injury to employees without waiting for accidents or visits by council officers to point out their failings.
“This case highlights the need for duty holders to effectively supervise and monitor working practices so that short-cutting does not take place and lead to imminent danger.”
Former Heysham High School pupil Andrew, who lives in Morecambe, said: “I can’t say anything yet as there are legal proceedings taking place at the moment.
“All I can say is that I’m getting on with life the best I can.”
Taylors Superbowl Ltd were not available for comment as we went to press.