Packaging firm fined after employee loses fingers

A packaging company has been fined after a worker’s hand was damaged carrying out machinery repairs.

On 27 July 2018, an employee at Romiley Board Mill's Stockport site was attempting to repair a cardboard slitting machine. While he was lifting a chain back onto a sprocket, a roller attached to the chain dropped, trapping his fingers under the chain and resulting in the severing of his left-hand ring finger and the tip of his middle finger.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was no risk assessment or safe system of work in place for replacing or repairing safety wires and chains on the machine.

At Manchester Magistrates’ Court, Romiley Board Mill's parent company Preston Board and Packaging Limited pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £33,500 and ordered to pay costs of £5,527.

HSE inspector Mike Lisle said: “This injury was easily preventable. The task had been carried out a number of times previously and the risks should have been identified. Employers should properly risk-assess machinery operations then apply effective control measures and robust safe systems of work to minimise the risk to employees from dangerous parts of machinery.”


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