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Print company fined after employee loses finger

Ashford Colour Press Limited has been in court after an employee lost one finger and seriously injured another whilst carrying out unsafe maintenance work on a book binding machine.

What happened?

Leharna Bull was attempting to clean the milling blades on a large binding machine, and had removed a fixed guard in order to access the parts.

Simultaneously, one of Ms Bull’s colleagues was changing a milling bag where paper dust is collected. This caused the machine to be restarted while she was still working with the fixed guards open.

Before she had time to react, the moving blades caught her fingers. She has since had to have the middle finger of her right hand amputated as a result of the incident.

What was the outcome?

An investigation identified that there were clear failings with the guarding on the machine she was operating on, and had the work been better planned the incident could have been avoided.

Ashford Colour Press Limited pleaded guilty to breaches of the Provision and Use or Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and was fined a total of £13,000 and ordered to pay £1,278 in costs after pleading guilty to single breaches.

Alec Ryan, an HSE inspector, said:

“This was an easily preventable incident that has left a young worker
with an irreversible hand injury. The system of work was
inherently unsafe because it should not have been
possible to operate the machine with
angerous moving parts exposed.

“It is vital that all maintenance work, however routine, is properly planned and
assessed, and that suitable protection measures are implemented. That
is especially true when you are dealing with powerful equipment
like the binding machine that injured Leharna.”

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
Source: View article

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