Trainee worker loses top of his finger at Integrated Packaging
Integrated Packaging has been fined £10k and ordered to pay £941.35 in costs after a trainee worker lost the top of his finger when his hand was caught between a feed belt and drive roller.
The 30-year-old man was preparing for a run of cartons on a machine which cuts windows and film onto packaging when the incident happened on November 22, 2013.
He removed some parts of the feed section of the machine, leaving the drive roller and feed belts in place. The machine was running and as he attempted to swap two belts, lifting one over the other with his hand, his finger was caught between the belt and roller.
The top of his right index finger was removed. He had to undergo two operations on his hand and was off work for two months.
Integrated Packaging pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at Gateshead Magistrates’ Court filed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on March, 26, 2015.
The court heard as well as poor guarding around the nip point – the gap between the roller and belt – there was a lack of adequate instruction, information, supervision and training.
Magistrates heard the company was prosecuted in 2009 following an incident when there was no guard in place on a different nip point on a similar machine. HSE had also served an Improvement Notice on the company in 2007 relating to the training of operators of the machines.
“This incident could have been easily prevented if Integrated Packaging had suitable measures in place to ensure workers did not come into contact with the nip point on the machine. In this case the machine should have been switched off,” said Natalie Wright, HSE Inspector.
“HSE had taken enforcement action against the company on previous occasions yet it chose to ignore the lessons of the recent past and once again it put workers at risk.”