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Firm fined after man had hand crushed
10:00am Saturday 9th February 2013 in News
A NORTH Cotswolds paper producer has been fined after an employee’s hand was crushed in machinery.
The 43-year-old man, who does not wish to be named, received a serious crushing injury and cuts and bruising to his right hand when it was drawn between the rollers of a paper coating machine at Cotek Papers Ltd in Draycott, near Moreton, on April 2 last year. He was unable to return to work for two months.
Cheltenham Magistrates' Court heard that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) established that the rollers had to be cleaned periodically, sometimes several times a day, when the coating material is changed.
In normal operation the five rollers are protected by fixed guards. However, these guards had to be removed for cleaning and it was found that this system of work was unsafe and exposed employees to an unnecessary risk of injury. An alternative system to clean the rollers should have been provided to prevent access to dangerous moving parts.
Cotek Papers Ltd was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £1,483 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Ann Linden said: “This incident could have been prevented had there been a safe system of work for cleaning the rollers.
“Cotek Papers Ltd clearly failed to ensure the safety of its employees, with painful consequences for the injured worker. The law clearly states that employers should take all reasonably practicable steps to protect employees from harm arising from their work. In the case of machinery, moving parts that could cause injury should be guarded or made safe so that people cannot come into contact with them.”