A commercial printing company has been fined £100,000 after an employee’s hand was crushed by a laminating machine.
The man had been working for Celloglas Limited at the firm’s site at Cross Green Industrial Estate in Leeds.
He was attempting to fix a laminating machine on 25 November 2020 when his right hand was drawn into the device and crushed between two rollers. The worker, who was 31 at the time, realised the machine had broken while he was feeding the device with paper.
The incident led to the man’s right hand sustaining soft tissue crush injures as well as nerve damage and contact burns to his right wrist. The injuries to his hand meant the man could not drive for seven months following the incident and also led to him suffering with anxiety and PTSD.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident found the laminating machine was not adequately guarded and that the company failed to review existing risk assessments for the machine which required the production of a safe system of work.
HSE guidance can be found at: Managing risks and risk assessment at work – Overview -HSE
Celloglas Ltd, of Exeter Way, Theale Commercial Estate, Theale, Reading, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay £5,165.09 in costs at Leeds Magistrates’ Court on 30 August 2023.
HSE inspector Darian Dundas commented: “A review of existing risk assessments for the machine should have identified that a safe system of work was required to keep operatives safe from harm. Had such a review taken place then this incident could so easily have been avoided.”
This HSE prosecution was supported by HSE enforcement lawyer Gemma Zakrzewski.
Source: Health & Safety Executive