A kitchen roll maker has been fined £10,000 following a work accident which saw an employee lose parts of two fingers in machinery.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Oldham-based Rose Tissues Ltd, which also processes and prints toilet paper at its Hollinwood plant, after the incident on May 17 last year.
The 35-year-old worker, also from Oldham, had been attempting to prevent paper sticking to a seven-metre-wide (22ft 11in) print roller, Trafford Magistrates’ Court was told.
He did this by trying to clean it with a cloth while the machine was running.
The cloth then became trapped between two rotating rollers, dragging in his right hand with it.
He spent four days in hospital and underwent hand surgery, but lost the tops of two fingers.
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Work accident probe unearths failings
The HSE investigation of the work accident found two of the guards on the machine had been taken away at least a year before the incident.
These should have prevented employees’ hands being trapped by the rollers.
Electronic safety locks and cut-out switches had been deliberately bypassed to allow the machine to continue operating, the court also heard.
No formal checks had been undertaken on the machine to ensure the guards were in place. The guards were found in a storage container in the factory following the accident and reinstated.
Rose Tissues Ltd was also ordered to pay £8,000 in costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 by failing to prevent access to the dangerous parts of the machine.
Twenty people were killed while working in Britain’s manufacturing industry in 2012/13.
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