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Firm fined after operator injured rethreading shrink wrap machine

Date:
21 January 2016

A company who produce household cleaning products have been fined after an employee suffered serious burns when rethreading a shrink wrap machine.

Derby Magistrates’ Court heard how the operator of the shrink wrap machine had removed the guard at the rear of the machine to get access to rethread the film. The sealing bar triggered and came down on the operators’ hand causing full thickness burns to the palm and wrist of his right hand.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive into the incident which occurred on 11 March 2015 found that it was common practice for operators to remove a guard to allow access while rethreading the shrink wrap. This allowed access to the sealing bar while the machine was still running.

Dri-Pak Limited, of Furnace Road, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), and was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,075.

HSE inspector Edward Walker said after the hearing: “Companies need to review guarding standards to ensure that they are appropriate to protect employees, taking into account actual working practices and benchmark against relevant standards.”

For further information on packaging machinery visit: www.hse.gov.uk/food/package.htm

Notes to Editors:

  1. 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
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/  and guidance at
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

 

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