Ian Swain worked in the glass toughening section of the Nicholls and Clarke Glass factory on the Woodside Industrial Estate.
Luton Magistrates Court heard that on October 20 2009, he picked up a large piece of glass when it cracked and shattered without warning. One of the shards lacerated his right forearm above his wrist guard, severing the artery, muscle and nerves.
Mr Swain was taken to hospital where he received more than 250 stitches. He wore a plaster cast for three months and has lost the full feeling in his right forearm and some movement in his wrist. He is still undergoing physiotherapy and has since lost his job.
The Health and Safety Executive investigation into the incident found that the protective equipment Nicholls and Clarke provided for its employees was inadequate and insufficient.
It also found the company had failed to report a similar incident which had seriously injured another employee in 2008.
Nicholls and Clarke Glass Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 3(2) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995. The firm was fined a total of £11,200 and ordered to pay £3,977.40 costs.
HSE Inspector Emma Rowlands said that the HSE and trade associations issue guidance on the provision of personal protective equipment for employees.
She added: “Had Mr Swain been provided with full arm protection he would have avoided serious injury. I am pleased to see Nicholls and Clarke Glass are now issuing all their employees with cut resistant long sleeved polo shirts to wear while working in their factories
“HSE will not hesitate to take action against companies failing to comply with the law.”