Box maker fined over severed fingers

Rhys Handley
Monday, November 12, 2018

Box maker Grahams Cartons has been fined almost £60,000 by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) for an incident with an unguarded casemaker in which an employee lost two fingers.

New company CEG Packaging Ltd continues to operate under the Grahams Cartons name
New company CEG Packaging Ltd continues to operate under the Grahams Cartons name

Liverpool Magistrates Court was told how the employee was attempting to retrieve a tool on 26 September 2016 when his hand was drawn into an in-running nip between two large power-driven rollers and the injury was inflicted.

The Court found that Liverpool-based Grahams had failed to carry out sufficient risk assessments on its cardboard-forming machinery. Grahams, which is now in administration, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £50,000 with additional legal costs of £8,554 on 25 October this year.

“This case highlights how employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery,” said HSE inspector Catherine Lyon.

“Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working.”

Alan Fallows and Peter Anderson of Kay Johnson Gee insolvency practice were appointed as administrators for Grahams Cartons on 28 June this year. That day, the company’s business and assets were subject to a pre-packaged sale to CEG Packaging Ltd – an entity also run by Grahams directors Colin and Lynn Graham.

It is understood by PrintWeek that CEG Packaging Ltd continues to operate under the name Grahams Packaging.

Grahams, which manufactures both printed and non-printed cardboard boxes for a number of markets, had suffered ahead of administration from a 30% increase in the cost of cardboard, uncertainty around Brexit and a drop in the value of the pound.

Fallows and Anderson also attributed the “strain” of the HSE investigation and litigation as a contributing factor to the business’s ultimate demise, as well as accruing circa £284,500 of debt with HMRC.

Acording to Companies House, the original Grahams Cartons Ltd entity currently remains in administration and is yet to be dissolved or wound up.

Administrator Kay Johnson Gee declined to comment. Colin and Lynn Graham were unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

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