A printer suffered an injury at work when his left hand was crushed between the rollers of a machine.
The work accident happened when the 55-year-old, from Merthyr Tydfil, was trying to clean dried ink from the rollers of a printing machine.
He needed two operations on his hand after it was drawn into the two-centimetre gap formed by the counter-rotating drive rollers.
An investigation was launched by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident at the food packaging factory of Chelver, in Hengoed, Mid Glamorgan, resulting in the company being charged with serious safety breaches.
Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court heard the printing machine was unguarded, which meant workers were getting too close to dangerous moving parts. The HSE found that the drive rollers, in particular, had not been identified as a hazard and there was no safe system in place for cleaning them.
The company had known 18 months before the accident about the need for a safe isolation procedure when cleaning the machine but it did not put one in place.
Chelver was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £5,843 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Gethyn Jones said: “This was a completely needless and entirely preventable incident that left an employee with painful injuries and a long-term disability. The impact on his life has been quite profound.”
“Employers have a clear duty to ensure the health and safety of their staff. The provision of safe systems of work, especially when maintaining or cleaning dangerous machinery is fundamental in this respect. By failing in their duties in this way, Chevler exposed their workers to the risk of injury.
“Sadly, it is not uncommon for employees in manufacturing industries to be injured when cleaning unguarded, operating machinery. HSE will prosecute companies where key safety procedures for operating and cleaning potentially dangerous machinery are not in place.”
Work accident compensation
Accident Advice Helpline is one of the UK’s foremost personal injury law firms. One of the areas it specialises in is work injuries claims. When workers are injured because of the carelessness or negligence of their employers there is often a valid claim for personal injury compensation. To discuss your claim with a member of Accident Advice Helpline’s expert team dial 0800 689 0500 now.
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Date Published: February 1, 2014
Author: David Brown