A FIRM that produces personal protective equipment has been fined after a worker’s hand was crushed in an unsafe machine.

Minster Lovell company JSP Ltd was fined £4,000 at Oxford Magistrates’ Court after the incident in January last year.

The 47-year-old employee, from Witney, was stirring the paint for a printer when the machine suddenly moved, striking her hand and trapping it.

The worker suffered a broken knuckle and serious nerve damage and was unable to work for several months.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the firm after finding a micro switch on an interlocking sliding door had failed.

An HSE spokesman said magistrates were told the machine had been used for eight years without incident. However, there had not been checks or maintenance work on the machine during that time and examinations showed it was unsafe.

The company, of Worsham Mill, admitted two breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 by failing to protect employees from dangerous moving parts of machinery. It was also ordered to pay £1,064 costs.

Speaking after the hearing on Wednesday, HSE prosecutor Kelly Nichols said: “This was a preventable incident.

“JSP Ltd had carried out a risk assessment in 2007 that identified maintenance checks were not being carried out on the printing machine, but they had failed to follow this through by taking action to manage that risk.”

She added: “Employers need to act on the findings of their own risk assessments and avoid complacency.”