A cardboard manufacturer has been fined after an employee suffered horrific injuries to his hand when it was trapped between metal rollers superheated by steam.
Leicester Crown Court heard Andrew Newbold had to have his hand amputated after the incident at Board 24 Limited at their factory on Bardon Industrial Estate, Coalville, Leicestershire on 5 June 2014.
Mr Newbold, 54, of Whitwick was in hospital for three weeks. He suffered crushed fingers and burns to his right hand, his arm was degloved and he suffered a frozen shoulder when colleagues rescued him from the machine. He had two operations but surgeons were unable to save his hand. The effects on Mr Newbold have been life-changing.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found Mr Newbold was trying to clear board which was wrapped around the rollers. However, the court was told that while Mr Newbold‘s action was the accepted method of clearing blockages, there were no guards to prevent access to the dangerous moving parts of the machine.
HSE found Board 24 Ltd had been warned in an audit 15 months before the incident that machinery within the plant did not have suitable and sufficient guarding or comply with the current work equipment regulations.
Board 24 Limited of Franks Road, Bardon, Coalville pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined a total of £50,000.The Court ordered the company to pay a further £18,458.76 in costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Elizabeth Hornsby said: “Mr Newbold suffered severe life-changing injuries, all for the sake of a guard.
“The company had not put reasonably practicable measures in place to prevent access to dangerous moving parts. The risks from machinery are well-known. It was inevitable that sooner or later someone would gain access to the dangerous moving parts and a serious injury would occur. This was a totally avoidable incident which could and should have been prevented. ”
Notes to editors
- The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. hse.gov.uk
- Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”
- HSE press releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk/