A Bristol-based printer of healthcare packaging was today (28 May) fined for safety failings after an employee had two fingers crushed when they became trapped in unguarded machinery at its Cambridgeshire plant.
A 39-year-old print worker from Sawtry was working on a label printing machine at Clondalkin Pharma & Healthcare’s factory on the Harvard Industrial Estate in Kimbolton, Huntingdon, on 14 September 2012 when the incident happened.
As he was trying to clear a piece of adhesive from the anvil of the machine while it was running, his right hand became caught and two of his fingers got crushed in an unguarded in-running nip. He subsequently made a full recovery.
The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive, which prosecuted Clondalkin for a safety breach at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court.
The court was told that HSE found the machine involved in the incident and a further three printing machines at the factory had inoperable interlocked guards. This meant that operators were able to run the machines without guards in place. Despite having assessed the risks, the company did not identify this danger and instead relied on instructing operators to close the guards.
Clondalkin Pharma & Healthcare (Kimbolton) Ltd, of Harbour Road, Portishead, Bristol, was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,890 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
Following the case, HSE Inspector Alison Ashworth, said:
“This case highlights the need for employers to assess risks adequately. It is a well-known fact that unguarded printing machines can cause major injuries and Clondalkin should have known better than to let its workers use inadequately-guarded machinery. Instructing operators to close guards is not reliable enough, as this incident demonstrates.
“Guards on machinery are there for a reason and they should be maintained in working order and checked for possible failures regularly. Had the guards been operational on the machine this worker used, he would not have had to suffer such a painful injury.”
For more information about safety in the printing industry visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/printing/
Notes to Editors
- The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
- Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 states: “Every employer shall ensure that measures are taken to (a) prevent access to any dangerous part of machinery or to any rotating stock-bar; or (b) to stop the movement of any dangerous part of machinery or rotating stock-bar before any part of a person enters a danger zone.”
- Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states: “Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work.”
- HSE news releases are available at press.hse.gov.uk