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Hertfordshire firm fined after worker’s arm dragged into machine

A packaging firm in Hertfordshire has been in court after one of its employees broke his arm in a poorly guarded mailing machine at a factory in Melbourn.

What happened?

Harry Bracewell had been operating a mailing machine that processes rolls of plastic film into sealable plastic bags by cutting the film to size and applying glue on one edge.

As he attempted to hand-clean a moving belt on the machine, his hand and arm was pulled between a roller and the belt. He suffered serious crush injuries and sustained a compound fracture to his right arm.

The 20-year-old underwent surgery to have metal plates inserted into his arm as a result of the incident, and now struggles with lifting and cannot sleep without medication.

An investigation into the incident found that it could have easily been avoided with better guarding of the machine.

The court heard that, while Ampac had identified the risk of entanglement from the moving belts to the underside of the machine, the area where his arm was caught had not been guarded to prevent access.

What was the outcome?

Ampac Security Products Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, 1998, and was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay a further £2328 in costs.

Health and Safety Inspector, Sandra Dias, said:

“No matter what industry you work in, machinery should
always be adequately guarded to prevent injury.

“It is also important that adequate training is provided to employees
– especially when they are operating machinery that differs
from what they may have used before.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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