A printing company has admitted health and safety failures after one of its workers severed his thumb. The 46-year-old man, who wishes to remain anonymous, was working on a print run at The Lettershop Ltd’s premises in Whitehall Road, Leeds, when the accident at work happened in December 2013. His injury was described as “painful and avoidable” by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Skin graft needed
The worker noticed that some loose inserts had become stuck on an impression roller of the gluing machine he was using, so he reached over one of the other rollers to remove them. As he did so, his left thumb was pulled into the in-running nip and the pad of the thumb and part of the bone was torn off. He needed a skin graft to help repair the thumb.
The Lettershop Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It was fined £18,000 and also ordered to pay costs of £9,516.
An HSE investigation found a number of safety failings by the company. The front of the unit in question had no guarding, and employees had not been provided with adequate instructions on how to use it. Training given to printer operators was described as informal, something which led to unsafe practices.
The Lettershop Ltd had previously been served with an enforcement notice in 2010, requiring it to improve both the way in which risks to workers were assessed and the provision of protective safeguards in the premises. While it had completed the assessment and developed an action plan to put right the safeguarding issues, it failed to act upon them. The HSE said that the accident could have been avoided if the company had implemented the measures in the action plan.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: August 4, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown